Muni set to improve Metro service by replacing 50-year-old underground cable 

Muni is set to embark on a $980,000 project to improve its underground Metro service by replacing a 50-year-old communications cable.

The cable transmits commands from Muni’s central control to its light-rail vehicles, allowing the Metro trains to operate under automatic service in the agency’s underground tunnels. In automatic mode, Muni can move up to 60 trains an hour safely. In manual mode, when train operators are controlling the vehicles, service moves much slower.

Over the years, the cable has been battered by falling antennas and other wear-and-tear, making it increasingly more fragile. Before the cable become unreliable — and slows down service — the agency wants to replace it.

Muni has already begun preliminary work on the project, and starting in November, it will start replacing the tube during weekend night work. The replacement project is expected to be finished by mid-2012.

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Will Reisman

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