HICKSVILLE-RONKONKOMA ELECTRIFICATION 1987-2007 20 YEARS!

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

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Postby RetiredLIRRConductor » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:51 pm

Roger That
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Postby peconicstation » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:49 am

During the construction period what was running east of KO?

I know that prior to the start of the electrification project, east of KO service was a single rail round trip M - F with the remainder of the service handled by busses, it was the last vestage of the Road N Rail program.

Ken
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Postby Dave Keller » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:02 am

A train consisting of one car, from what I remember, being pulled by an MP15ac.

It used to lay up, locomotive and car, on the old wye at Ronkonkoma when it returned in the afternoon.

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Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:53 pm

Everyone: I remember attending public hearings as well as LIRR presentations on the HVL-RONK Elec project. I recall attending one in Bethpage-the platforms were moved W of the Stewart Ave. crossing to allow continuous 12 car high-level platforms to be built. The problem most mentioned was parking for Hempstead Town residents-OB Town was in control of parking there and was for residents W/permit. Since it would be even closer to Grumman - the Grumman station would close-it averaged 10 riders a day at its end in late '85. Farmingdale's platforms were built in two sections-the E halfs on both sides were constructed first and then went unused for a time until the W halfs were constructed adjacent to the building. Passengers temporarily used the E sections to board until the platforms were complete.

At Deer Park the original plan called for that station to be a "Superstation" replacing old DPK,Pine-Aire 1/2 mile E AND Brentwood. There was call for direct access to the Sagitikos Parkway in the future-it was never constructed. Brentwood residents fought hard to save their station and the location was moved E of the Brentwood Road crossing. At CI - I attended a presentation by the LIRR about the new station location - it all came down to acquiring the property for the current parking lot from the CI school district. I wonder what would have happened if the station was not moved-the old facility would have not been anywhere near large enough to handle today's amount of passengers using it. The buildings at WYA,DPK,BWD and CI were originally designed NOT to have restrooms or heat-rider complaints about this got them installed at all 4 locations.

At Ronkonkoma the island platform was a pedestrian bottleneck of sorts-I still believe that it should have been designed for THREE tracks but the outside platforms make boarding more flexible-but it may be a problem for freight trains passing thru. Electrification ended thru service to Greenport-with the short trains used if they were to run thru service KO riders would overwhelm a short consist running thru express to HVL and JAM. In closing it is hard to believe it has been almost 20 years!! MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY....

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:48 pm

Everyone: Twenty years ago today 4/30/87 the LIRR ran the first trains to Bethpage completing the first portion of the Hicksville-Ronkonkoma electrification. This first three or so mile stretch extended to B Tower and the 1000' stretch of the Central Branch used to turn electric trains here. In early June elecrification reached Farmingdale. The HVL-RONKONKOMA electrification is arguably one of the best of the LIRRs success stories in recent history. MACTRAXX
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Hicksville-Ronkonkoma electrification...COMPLETED!

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:32 pm

Everyone: Twenty years ago tomorrow morning-on December 28,1987 the first electric trains ran on the Ronkonkoma Branch under a three-week interim schedule-two rush-hour trips in each direction and a 5th train that left KO W at about 8pm. That first train left Ronkonkoma at 6:40 am. I boarded at Central Islip at 6:46 am and I rode it to Wyandanch and then I got off and watched trains go thru until the second train got there at 8:51 am-I rode that train to PSNY and enroute I was interviewed by News 12 Long Island. When I got home that night I taped the segment on the first electric Ronkonkoma runs that included me-I still have it someplace stored along with other videotapes I have. Newsday on 12/29 did a 4-page article which included a cover pic at KO with the caption "ELECTRIFYING"-"LIRR begins all-electric Ronkonkoma Service;predicts 59-minutes to NYC" as the headline-which was actually wrong-the full service started on January 18,1988-I will leave that for another post in the coming weeks.

I feel that this is one of the most significant LIRR improvements of my lifetime-the ridership increased sharply in 1988-89 and it was considered a big success by many.

Retired LIRR Conductor asks who the crew was on that first run-according to the Newsday article the Conductor on that run was Benny Prince-and the engineer George Sponheiner-they were mentioned in that Newsday writeup on page 2 that included a rail buff named Bob Gayer-who traveled down from Groton,Connecticut to ride that inaugural run. He was having a commemorative brochure punched by Trainman Dennis Lebetz in a Newsday pic-which was of Engineer Sponheiner,Trainman Lebetz and Bob Gayer at the cab of M1 9274 which was the first EB run which left PSNY at 4:55 pm.

In closing-it is hard to believe 20 years have passed since Ronkonkoma electric service began on the LIRR! MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby LongIslandTool » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:39 pm

Tool was there too -- in an official capacity of sorts, no less.

He was a score younger too. Ouch.
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Postby nyandw » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:00 pm

Anyone with a photo of the coffee mug for this event?
Thanks,
Steve
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Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:11 am

Steve: That coffee mug had the Hickville-Ronkonkoma Electrification logo on it - mostly in purple and black. MACTRAXX
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Postby loekie » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:27 pm

here you go

<a><img src="http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l40/loekie04/DSC00420.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
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Postby nyandw » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:08 pm

loekie wrote:here you go<a><img src="http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l40/loekie04/DSC00420.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


Thank you! When I post it would you like the photo credit? Name?
Best,
Steve
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Cool mugs

Postby freightguy » Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:22 pm

I remember my dad bringing me down to the yard on the last night night of diesel service West of Ronkonkoma. I think it was a Sunday. I am glad most of that equipment stayed around on other branchlines. I thought it was in January though(88). If I remember the ticket office was a trailer. Someone else must of been there also, because they snapped a shot of diesel equipment in the new yard just East of the new Station!
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Postby Bay Head Local » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:47 am

Does anyone have or nowhere I can find the brochure introducing the new electric service and trains??....if there even is one
Change at Secaucus for trains to Hoboken
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Postby SammyRails » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:32 am

Yes the ticket office was a trailer on the south side of track 2 and only the middle platform was in service I believe. after a while the other platforms were added along with the plaza (pizza, cleaners, bagel store, dunkin donuts etc) and the current ticket office. That station building/MTA police building is quite unique compared to other newer looking cookie cutter LIRR stations they have nowadays. The imitation brick concrete floor is nice along with the curved ticket windows and wooden rafters and walls. Mark Sullivan, the CMO on the LIRR had a nice shot in one of the LIST calendars- circa 1988 that had the "new" KO yard with many diesels and MUs scattered through the yard. Guess they ran the diesels even after it was electrified and in service.
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Postby phoenix » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:39 pm

that mug! I could have just sworn I saw it on ebay some time ago.

Gotta see if I can dig mine up.

Ah, got it, along with the Port Washing Rehab track mug.
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