LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby LB » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:31 am

Is the project contingent on a grade crossing elimination, or can they move ahead without one? They squeezed temporary tracks between both portions of Hoffman Ave (Lindenhurst) back in 68/69, which was a very tight fit. In New Hyde Park they can make the two roads north and south of the tracks (2nd & 3rd Ave) one way for the duration of the project which can add a road width of space to work with for shoo-fly tracks. They completely closed Unqua Rd, Massapequa Park for 3+ years (only open for pedestrians/bicycles) and Old Mill Road, Bellmore for months to accommodate past projects.

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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby MattAmity90 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:51 am

In Lindenhurst the tight fit was North of the tracks while the South was open to traffic, but I can see it feasible since I saw a ton of zig-zags in those photos, most likely would put them to the North of the ROW. Maybe add some retaining walls to compensate for the embankments (which I've seen on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the double-track project that is currently underway).
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Riverduckexpress » Fri May 06, 2016 3:47 am

MTA Press Release: LIRR Expansion Project Moves Forward

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced major steps forward for the Long Island Rail Road Expansion Project, including a continued commitment to community outreach by holding four public meetings, expedited modifications to all train crossings along the project route, and increased transparency with the release of a new project scoping report, website and community center.

“A third track on the main line is crucial to the future of Long Island,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will make the LIRR more reliable for millions of customers, while also eliminating multiple dangerous train crossings along the main line. Our proposal will ensure that we can continue to improve the quality of life and grow the economy in the region, and I encourage New Yorkers to learn more about how we’re working to build a brighter future for Long Island.

Extensive Public Engagement
Since Governor Cuomo unveiled the proposal in January, a project team composed of his executive staff along with key MTA, LIRR and DOT officials have worked non-stop to refine the plan in close consultation with elected officials, property owners, business and civic leaders and other major stakeholders.
To date, more than 80 meetings have been held with stakeholders, including the mayors of the Villages of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Garden City, Mineola and Westbury, state legislators, local civic associations and school boards, chambers of commerce, officials from the Towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Babylon, Islip and Brookhaven as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Governor also met personally with the mayors to discuss the proposal and address concerns.
While only one public meeting is required, the four public meetings announced today will offer the public direct access to the project team and provide residents, business owners and other stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the project and comment on the scope of work needed, which will result in an environmental impact statement to be released late this summer.

Increased Transparency
Reaffirming his commitment to transparency, the Governor today released a detailed draft scoping document that outlines options for modifying the crossings and the proposed environmental analysis. The project has also launched http://www.AModernLI.com – a website where the public can learn more about the project and provide direct input.
The release of the scoping document comes nearly three weeks ahead of the first public hearing, ensuring that local residents, business owners, and elected officials have ample time to review the proposal. Governor Cuomo is committed to ensuring an extensive degree of public engagement about the project, and state officials will be holding four separate public hearings throughout the affected corridor. Those hearings will be held on:
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 from 11 am to 2 pm at The Inn at New Hyde Park, located at 214 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 from 6 pm to 9 pm at Hofstra University, in the Mack Student Center’s Student Theatre, located at 1000 Fulton Ave, Hempstead, NY 11549.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 11 am to 2 pm at the ”Yes We Can” Community Center, located at 141 Garden St, Westbury, NY 11590.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 6 pm to 9 pm at Antun’s, located at 244 W. Old Country Road, Hicksville, NY 11801.
MTA officials will also open a LIRR Expansion Project Information Center beginning May 6, located on the south platform at the Mineola Train Station. This information center will provide opportunities for people to review the scoping document and ask questions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 am to 7pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 7am to 3pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.


Improving Grade Crossing Safety

The Governor has already committed to modifying all seven street-level train crossings in the project corridor but will now also do this on an expedited basis in order to dramatically improve safety for both vehicles and pedestrians; to sharply reduce noise by train horns and bells; and to reduce severe traffic congestion caused by crossing gates being down for prolonged periods of time during peak travel times.
MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast said: “We all know grade crossings are a chronic problem, complicating traffic flow and presenting round-the-clock safety challenges. The Governor’s commitment to speeding up the construction to solve crossing issues along the project route is welcome news for everyone.”
The draft scoping report presents a number of key safety-enhancing options for train crossing improvements along the project’s 9.8 mile route. These construction improvements would also take place on an expedited timetable – with each grade crossing project completed in nine months or less – to significantly ease local traffic congestion.
The train crossings along the LIRR Main Line segment between Floral Park and Hicksville that will be modified are: Covert Ave., South 12th St. and New Hyde Park Rd., all in New Hyde Park; Main St. and Willis Ave., in Mineola; School St. in Westbury and Urban Ave. in New Cassel.

About the Project

With just two tracks to service Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson, Hempstead, Oyster Bay and some Montauk Branch trains, the Railroad has historically been hindered by congestion during peak travel periods and frequent delays, whether caused by a disabled train, a track condition, a medical emergency or a trespasser. A third track will bring other improvements, including infrastructure upgrades at LIRR stations and parking facilities, the construction of retaining walls along portions of the corridor to minimize property impacts and the upgrading of railroad signal systems, substations, culverts, interlocking, crossovers, sidings, track bed, power systems and communications systems.
This LIRR Expansion will support current service plans, and is an important component to the future success of the LIRR’s East Side Access Project, taking Long Island commuters to Grand Central Station and the East Side of Manhattan for the first time. Together the projects are expected to cut commuting time for many customers by up to 20 minutes in each direction.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 06, 2016 10:51 am

Wow, that is one detailed analysis.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Head-end View » Fri May 06, 2016 7:01 pm

Very ambitious plans. I hope the Governor is not over-reaching in terms of what can realistically be accomplished given local political reality. We all know there will be (already is) huge local opposition to this project. If the Governor intends to pull this off, he's going to have to sell it very hard to the local residents, if he wants to avoid heavy political flak. I'm not sure that eliminating all those grade crossings will be enough of a carrot for the villages along the route. After all New Hyde Park and Mineola have long opposed most sensible efforts to do this in the past and will most likely stubbornly dig in their heels yet again.

One thing stands out though. Unlike previous administrations, this Governor seems determined to make this project happen. Let's hope he succeeds.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby MattAmity90 » Mon May 09, 2016 12:03 pm

Well Herricks Road HAD to be eliminated no matter what due to nature and tragic history. Luckily there was room for a project that needed shoo-fly tracks. If they can't eliminate a crossing, I would suggest converting them to fully 4-quadrant gated crossings just like Little Neck Parkway.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Sir Ray » Mon May 16, 2016 2:55 pm

Well, now we sort of know the tentative (or preferred) fate of the 7 grade crossings in the affected area.

All crossings will be underpasses, no overpasses.
Some plans seem a bit more complicated than necessary.

No surprise, S. 12th NHP & Main St. Mineola are recommended to be closed; at best, replaced with a one-way underpass.
Apparently two-way underpasses would require acquisition of private land.

Covert. Ave. NHP, Willis Ave. Mineola, Urban Ave. & School St. Westbury, two-lane underpasses.

New Hyde Park Rd. NHP, 4 or 5 lane underpass.

I guess no real surprises there.

On alternate proposals of closing heavily trafficked crossings like Willis or Covert: "Permanently diverted traffic would create long queues and poor levels of service at various intersections in the area" Ya Think? :P. Hmm, they forgot riots, it would also create riots and politicians out of a job...
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Head-end View » Mon May 16, 2016 8:58 pm

The LIRR has for years wanted to close the Main St. Mineola crossing, in-front-of Nassau Tower. I predict quite a fight over that. And School St. Westbury would probably be easier to build a bridge over the tracks like Ellison Ave. and probably less expensive than an underpass; ditto for Urban Ave.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue May 17, 2016 9:59 am

As an alternative to one-way underpasses, they could be signalized to alternate traffic.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 18, 2016 1:49 pm

Interesting opinion piece: Long Island Press

LIRR’s Third Track Needs Full Support Now—No More Local Stops Down The Line
...
As such, Long Island’s support for the third track should be a no-brainer—but only if the proper upgrades are made to the system in conjunction with the line expansion. These upgrades are needed to not only enhance the effectiveness of the third track project, but allow for the region to net the maximum benefits of other large-scale initiatives being undertaken by the LIRR such as East Side Access—now slated to be completed in 2023 (only 14 years later than first predicted and at $10.8 billion only $6.5 billion more than initially projected)—and the double track planned between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale to relieve congestion in that heavily traveled line.
...
The railroad is pushing hard for the third track because the East Side Access would bring the LIRR right under the East River and into Grand Central Terminal. That project’s completion would be truly transformative for the entire LIRR system. With East Side Access being the principal force behind a projected ridership increase of 27.5 percent within the next 30 years, the railroad is preparing the rest of the system for the residual demands. Adding the third track would have a huge impact.

During the peak morning commute, there is no eastbound service for one and a half hours, while peak evening does not have westbound service for an hour. While the data for reverse commuting is ambiguous, the complete lack of reverse service on that line during peak times is troubling indeed.
...
The current iteration doesn’t have a final price tag yet, but Cuomo has made it clear that this project is a New York State priority. Fewer property purchases are required this time around, but more grade crossings are slated for elimination, so the cost will change. So far, $6.95 million was spent on related environmental studies. The third track’s completion is slated for some time in 2020. With the third track’s community outreach efforts modeled after those used by state officials during the new Tappan Zee bridge construction by hosting a series of community meetings, setting up a physical project center at the Mineola Train Station, and a sleek website, it seems the MTA and LIRR have learned the lessons of 2008.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu May 26, 2016 1:15 pm

Everyone:

After attending the Hicksville scoping meeting yesterday evening 5/25 for the Third Track Project I took notice to
the large majority support for this new plan - there was some opposition but along the lines more about temporary
inconvenience during construction and the thought of more freight trains using the route among concerns.

I am - and have been - for the Third Track addition - this is something that should have been undertaken in the
1980s as an example because this addition has been needed since at least then.

A Modern Long Island can be contacted at: (516) 253-5239 -or- info@aModernLI.com

There is a Project Information Center at the Mineola Station - South (eastbound) platform that is open:
Tuesday-Wednesday from 11am to 7pm; Thursday-Friday from 7am to 3pm and Saturdays: 10am to 3pm.

http://www.aModernLI.com
http://www.righttrackforlongisland.com

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EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby spokes32 » Fri May 27, 2016 9:59 am

There's no doubt that this project would be a boon to parts of Eastern Nassau County and Suffolk County. What remains unknown, however, is how this project would affect the neighborhoods and lines through which the new third track would pass through. Until a plan is released, it's impossible to make those assumptions.

Keep in mind, the current plan is not the comprehensive plan that was pushed for in the past. The project scope has been shortened from Queens Village to Floral Park. However, that doesn't mean the mainline will be reduced back to two tracks between Queens Village and Floral Park. In all likelihood, the current westbound Hempstead track will be converted into an Eastbound mainline track.

The implications the new third track will have on Hempstead and Oyster Bay service are unknown but will likely result in a capacity swap from western lines to eastern lines. In a sense, the railroad is betting on economic growth in Eastern Long Island at the expense of Western Long Island.

For this project to be successful, it has to prove that it will benefit both Eastern and Western Long Island.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby EuroStar » Fri May 27, 2016 12:22 pm

spokes32 wrote:The implications the new third track will have on Hempstead and Oyster Bay service are unknown but will likely result in a capacity swap from western lines to eastern lines. In a sense, the railroad is betting on economic growth in Eastern Long Island at the expense of Western Long Island.

There is no East versus West Long Island. You are making it look "them" versus "us" issue which it is not. Hempstead and OysterBay will not see reductions in service. There is no swap in capacity. The currently four tracked section to Floral Park can support quite a bit more service than in currently sees. The Heampstead trains are nowhere close to saturating the south two tracks. Hempstead and OysterBay may see no gains in service, but there is no way they will see reductions in service. West Long Island gains grade separation with reduced traffic congestion and associated pollution, East Long Island gains more train service. Both gain the advantage of reverse peak commutation.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby MattAmity90 » Fri May 27, 2016 1:42 pm

Weird diagram, they actually plan on constructing the third track in two phases.

-Construct the third track to the South of the ROW from Floral Park to Mineola.
-Construct the third track to the North of the ROW form East of Mineola to Hicksville.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby bellstbarn » Tue May 31, 2016 12:36 pm

ImageMineola May 31, 2016 by sphoto33, on Flickr

ImageMineola May 31, 2016 by sphoto33, on Flickr

ImageMineola May 31, 2016 by sphoto33, on Flickr

ImageMineola May 31, 2016 by sphoto33, on Flickr

ImageMineola May 31, 2016 by sphoto33, on Flickr

This morning I intended to observe and list all the westbound trains that use Track 2 during the 96 minutes when there are no eastbound passenger stops at Mineola. I lost count of the westbound trains that sped along Track 2 during that gap after the East Williston deadhead has cleared. At 7:06 a four-car train from Port Jeff stopped. Riders getting off included Chaminade students. Boarders knew enough to wait west of the station house for the short train. At 7:42, a crowd in the 5th photo above boarded a train to Brooklyn, and a throng of students and workers alighted. I did not stay around for the train from Montauk due at 8:04, also scheduled for Track 2. Mineola is busy, and that is without providing eastbound service for more than an hour and a half.
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