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 Head-end View » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:50 pm

These drawings might not show all the complete details and may be subject to further changes and additions. I would be surprised if they did not retain the crossovers betw. Mineola and Carle Place and the ones west of Merillon Ave.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby pineywoodsman » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:49 pm

Personally all the stations should be reconfigured with island platforms (New Hyde Park, Merillon, Mineola, Carle Place, and Westbury). There should also be Canopies just like on the Babylon Branch. These stations need modernization badly, and considering the heavy use of some of them (Mineola, Westbury, then NHP) they deserve the Babylon Branch treatment.
Hopefully more details will come available. Island platforms make sense if a track is out of service for some reason.
Still am confused how they're gonna work the extra track from the north side to the south side. It would also mean Westbury's waiting room would have to be gutted as it would be in the way.
Hopefully we'll get more details done soon. I hope this is done right like they did with the Babylon Branch (all their stations have canopies & island platforms) Otherwise commuters will still choose the Babylon Branch towns like they're doing.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby berlintransit » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:30 pm

Hello to everyone!

What would you think if I claimed now that the attachment below is from the official scoping documents and nyandw made his all up (just as I did)? :-D

Personally, I find the operational flaws produced by the infrastructure shown in his document are just too huge to be acceptable. If the LIRR built that, they could just have passed the whole project on altogether. Well, nearly. This is why I doubt the authenticity of this publication. I don't quite believe that professionals would plan such a cramped infrastructure with no need.

* As has been said before, at least a couple of crossovers are required to guarantee flexible operations. I do not see why the LIRR would demolish existing crossovers west of Hicksville or within Queens Interlocking that will still be helpful after the third track is built.
* The lack of crossovers and the layout of the Oyster Bay Branch junction in Mineola shown in nyandw's document will make any eastbound Oyster Bay Branch service impossible during the AM peak or whenever else a (WB) train uses the middle track. That would be, diplomatically said, unintelligent.
* The Queens interlocking layout problem is one of the biggest challenges of the whole project, from an operational point of view. Leaving the area between Floral Park and Bellerose just as it is seems a bad idea to me. The routing conflicts between WB Hempstead Branch and EB Main Line trains should be minimized by shortening the length of the conflicted zone of track. My suggestion shows the EB Main Line local crossover located east of Bellerose and a crossover for WB Hempstead trains west of Bellerose. Shortening and separating the conflicts (WB Hempstead with EB Local at/west of Floral Park, WB Hempstead with EB Express at/west of Bellerose, providing two opportunities for the WB Hempstead to buffer) will stabilize operations. Scheduling Hempstead branch trains to meet between Bellerose and Floral Park could enable the westbound to cross the segment of track where it conflicts with eastbound Main Line locals in the slot its eastbound opposite leaves (this could produce conflicts in single track territory east of Garden City, however). If left-hand running is introduced on the Hempstead Branch, it should only be as far west as Floral Park; making westbounds go practically all the way to Queens Village on the southernmost track would force them to cross all other paths (including their own reverse direction) in one spot and at a low speed.
* There might not be enough space at Mineola Station for two side platforms and an island platform, as shown in the document linked by nyandw - except if the center island platform only has one edge for the express track and a fence at the other side. I am convinced an island platform between the two northern tracks is the ideal solution for travellers to NYC (and same platform connections in case a shuttle operates on the Oyster Bay Branch). The new station could be built progressing from South to North, always leaving two tracks in service (except for major cutovers).
* As far as I understand it from the scoping document, the LIRR does not envisage completely reconstructing the junction east of Hicksville at Divide Tower. nyandw's drawing does not even resemble the current configuration of the interlocking and would most probably require a total remake of the supporting structures. However, there is no doubt that changes to this junction are unavoidable if the three tracks are supposed to perform well, and "my" version most probably also requires changes to the supporting structures in that area, I admit that.
* Furthermore, the scoping document stated that no large-scale changes would be made to Floral Park station supporting structures. This might even mean that the third track could simply end east of Floral Park, omitting the connection to the WB Hempstead track (but hopefully with crossovers directly west of Floral Park to allow for the 2-track stretch of Main Line to be extremely short).

@ Pineywoodsman: The locations you propose - except Mineola, which is also quite cramped - do not really offer enough space for island platforms.
@ Norton & Pineywoodsman: I hope you can see from the illustration how the additional track changes from north to south of the existing alignment east of Mineola! All three tracks will have a slight S-curve which can easily be built in a weekend or so ("cut-and-throw").
@ nyandw: So, where did you get that from? :P :wink:

Best regards!

EB eastbound
WB bestbound
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Sticking a Double Slip switch in the middle of Nassau? Only if you close that grade crossing!
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby SwingMan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:51 am

Double slip switches are not meant to be used in the middle of a Main Line.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby freightguy » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:57 pm

Swing man,

Isn't that a double slip switch at Divide just east of Hicksville station?
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby inthebag » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:00 pm

They are, but 40mph over those switches.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby berlintransit » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:27 pm

Thank you for the correction. That was maybe not the best idea then.
@Backshophoss, the grade crossing will be closed anyways.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Norton » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:48 pm

The "Final SEQRA Scoping Document" is now available here: ... -08-26.pdf
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby BM6569 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:36 pm

Big delays this morning due to a broken rail east of Mineola. LIRR spokesman smartly pointed out that the delays would have been far less if the third track was there!
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby Head-end View » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:02 pm

To add to this morning's disruption there was also (yet another) bridge strike at Merillon Ave. I walked thru Mineola Station around 11AM and the boards were showing delays up to 110 minutes and some trains cancelled or held. There was a parade of eastbound trains stacked-up in the distance and proceeding east on Track-1.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby MattAmity90 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:51 am

Well to add chaos to it, the 9:22 PM Eastbound train from Penn Station to Huntington collided with a work train in the NASSAU Interlocking's Western crossovers in between New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue. They said the work train was there due to the truck collision with the bridge. So far 29 people are injured and M7 car #7044's rear end is completely peeled open.
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 Head-end View » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:41 am

Matt, I think you mean the 8:22pm departure from Penn. Train #7734, due at Merillon Ave. at 8:57pm, just about when the incident happened. I heard the crew member call it in to 204 at 8:59pm.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby keyboardkat » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:06 pm

I still would rather see the old Central line restored between Garden and Bethpage, but that won't happen, even though the old ROW is still there (with some LIPA) towers in it. Too many NIMBYs through Garden City and Island Trees, etc. But it would be much less disruptive to existing service on the main line. Of course, it would require a new bridge over the Meadowbrook, and tracks through Salisbury Park, but I'd still rather see that than a third track on the main line.
Too bad! The railroad should have kept that line during their route consolidation at the turn of the last century.
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Re: LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

Postby REM3Night » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:22 pm

I posted about this during the summer. Amtrak is studying the Northeast Corridor service. They are looking at several scenarios from fixing it up to major expansion. The one of most interest to Long Islanders is the possible service across the sound to Port Jeff - Ronkonkama - Nassau Hub - NYC. The route is not easy to see but part of it runs from Bethpage Jct along the Central branch to Garden City and then to Penn. We probably will not see it any time soon, if ever.
I have spoken to some Garden City residents and can't repeat their comments. Obviously!!
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