LIRR Expansion Project
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a major expansion project for the Long Island Rail Road that will improve commuting for LIRR customers and relieve traffic congestion in the region.
At peak times, the LIRR operates at capacity between Hicksville and Floral Park, making it impossible to add service for traditional rush hour riders, reverse commuters and intra-island travelers. In essence, millions of people are limited by a rail system virtually unchanged for decades. In order to improve commutes for millions of customers, and reduce congestion on Long Island’s roads, the Governor has announced a renewed effort to expand the LIRR’s capacity between Floral Park and Hicksville. The project will reduce congestion and delays and enable the LIRR to run “reverse peak” trains, allowing people to take the LIRR to jobs on Long Island during traditional business hours. By allowing the LIRR to increase service between Floral Park and Hicksville, the railroad will become a more attractive alternative to driving and thereby reduce traffic on Long Island’s major east-west highways.
Unlike previous plans, this new effort dramatically minimizes the impact on communities along the right of way. The Governor’s proposal reduces the previous length of the corridor from 11.5 miles to 9.8 miles. Even more importantly, the Governor’s proposal would confine virtually all construction activity within the existing right of way. The number of property acquisitions required would be significantly reduced.
Rider Benefits: Two out of every five LIRR customers use the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville. It is the route used by the busy Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Branches. Some Montauk Branch trains use the corridor as well, and all Oyster Bay Branch trains use it for a portion of their trips. With just two tracks, this busy corridor becomes congested during rush hour. In the event that a train becomes disabled, the LIRR has few options to route trains around a disabled train, and the result can be cascading delays impacting thousands.The LIRR Expansion Project will complement the East Side Access megaproject, which will bring LIRR trains to Grand Central Terminal.
Robust Community Engagement: The LIRR is launching an extensive community engagement program to ensure local input is heard and addressed. This will include outreach to commuters, impacted property owners, and community organizations.
Environmental Review: The LIRR will conduct a formal environmental review of this new plan. Customer and community input will be sought on the plan and a variety of analyses will be undertaken to assess impacts, including noise impacts and mitigation strategies.
Grade Crossing Safety Reviews: The LIRR will conduct a comprehensive safety analysis to address and ensure all aspects of safety
at the seven remaining street crossings.
Look for more information about this project in the near future.
Winter Weather is Here
Despite a record warm November and December, we can expect cold snaps this winter and along with it the inevitable snow and ice. The LIRR has a detailed strategy that includes extensive preparation before, during and after wintry weather. This includes our employees spreading de-icer on platforms, turning on switch heaters at critical track locations, and readying our heavy-duty snow fighting equipment.
Here’s a summary of what customers can expect during different winter weather events:
- Light Snowfall: 4 inches or less: Little or no impact on operations/train service.
- Moderate Snowfall: 5 to 9 inches: Operations could be hampered, expect some delays. Allow extra travel time.
- Heavy Snowfall: 10-13 inches or more:Train service on some branches may be modified or suspended. We will try to restore normal service as quickly as possible to our core branches – Babylon, Port Jefferson (NY-Huntington), Port Washington and Ronkonkoma. Train travel is not encouraged at the height of the storm.
- Ice Storms, blizzards, sustained winds over 39 MPH: Train service will be severely curtailed or suspended, especially if there are frozen switches or if there is a loss of third rail power. Icing can develop quickly and can have a greater impact on travel conditions than heavy snowfall. Train travel is not encouraged.
Modified Schedules for Storm Recovery: Special storm recovery timetables are posted on our website (www.mta.info/lirr).
Modified Schedule 1: A normal AM or PM rush hour schedule, but with up to 20 trains canceled or combined.
Modified Schedule 2: LIRR weekend schedule with 32 extra trains added.
Modified Schedule 3: LIRR trains operate at one-hour intervals on only the LIRR’s four key branches: Babylon, Port Jefferson (NY-Huntington), Port Washington and Ronkonkoma with shuttle train service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal.
Modified Schedule 4: LIRR trains operate at two-hour intervals on only the LIRR’s four key branches: Babylon, Port Jefferson (NY-Huntington), Port Washington and Ronkonkoma. No service between Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal. Depending upon changing storm conditions, adjustments to the modified schedules may be implemented.
To ensure your safety, and the safety of our employees, the LIRR may need to temporarily suspend train service depending upon the severity of the weather. Suspending service ensures that trains do not get stranded between stations, making our recovery
efforts extremely challenging.
When the storm is over, we cannot immediately “ramp up” to full service. Trains that were operating during the storm may be subject to weather-related damage. The same holds true for our right-of-way and for parking facilities, most of which are maintained by local towns and villages. Remember, Know Before You Go. Check the LIRR website, www.mta.info for updates and download the LIRR’s free Train Time app. Our Public Information Office sends out real-time service updates via e-mail, text messages and Tweets to thousands of subscribers. If you’re not an LIRR e-mail subscriber, please check out www.mymtaalerts.com. It’s free.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Service
The LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule with extra trains added on Monday, January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday. We will add 32 extra trains to/from Penn Station on various branches to accommodate holiday travelers. Off-peak fares will be in effect all day. Check branch timetables—dated December 14, 2016 to March 6, 2016— or the LIRR’s website at www.mta.info/lirr for specific departure/arrival times. Please note: no trains will run between Greenport & Ronkonkoma that day.
Take the LIRR to Star WarsTM And The Power of Costume!
Explore the challenges of dressing the Star WarsTM universe from the Galactic Senate and royalty to the Jedi, Sith and Droids. Star WarsTM And The Power of Costume, The Exhibit features 70 hand crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films and more. This package includes up to 40% savings, including LIRR off-peak round-trip rail fare and general admission to one Discovery Times Square Exhibit. Deals & Getaways tickets are available only at staffed LIRR ticket windows and gray, green or blue full service ticket machines.
December OTPOverall on-time performance was 93.9%.
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