MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale

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

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MattAmity90
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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by MattAmity90 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:22 pm

Wyandanch has the looks of Ronkonkoma now, but if you think they were going to eliminate the Straight Path grade crossing, you would have been disappointed. There is no room for elimination, and in the video the benefit of the Ronkonkoma Branch now being a two-track line all the way means the gates will be down for a shorter amount of time. When he filmed a Westbound departing, it accelerated and cleared the station vicinity twice as fast since they likely added a component to keep the 18th street crossing gates down due to quicker departure.
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: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by Head-end View » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:27 pm

Thanks to SwingMan and workextra for explaining the signal aspect at Divide 4. I assume that the idea of using signals to enforce speed limits, separate from indicating track occupancy and routes, came out of the Metro-North derailment at Spuyten Duyvil.

And MNCRR9000, for observing that signal at Beth from the B'way crossing. I was actually going to do that myself later this week, but you beat me to it. LOL

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by MattAmity90 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:21 pm

Just on an unrelated note, but it is related to construction projects on the Long Island Rail Road:

IS THE REHABILITATION OF HICKSVILLE STATION OFFICIALLY COMPLETED?
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: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by Head-end View » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:48 pm

Not quite. Crews are still doing some finishing work on the platforms and structures.

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Double Track Completion

Post by MNCRR9000 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:08 pm

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the completion of the Long Island Rail Road Double Track more than a year ahead of schedule. This historic project adds a second 13-mile track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma — a segment of the LIRR that carries 48,000 riders every weekday — and will significantly reduce delays and allow for reverse-peak service expansions. The double track project also includes a new signal system, electrical substation modifications and new third rail electrical systems that will power the new track's trains. Governor Cuomo also announced the official opening of a new and fully accessible Wyandanch Station along the new double track.

"After 70 years of stagnation we are investing $6.6 billion in 100 projects to completely transform the LIRR and improve service, and the completion of the new Double Track demonstrates our commitment to delivering results," Governor Cuomo said. "The LIRR is the lifeblood of the region's economy and projects like the Double Track and Third Track will help support future growth and vastly improve riders' experience on the busiest commuter rail in the country."

"We're making significant investments to transform the Long Island Rail Road, and the completion of the new double track will significantly reduce delays and ease traffic," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who delivered today's announcement. "This project adds a second track and expands service between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, making transportation faster, easier, and safer for New Yorkers. We're cutting through red tape to deliver ahead of schedule because we prioritize our commuters."

The Double Track allows the LIRR to immediately begin offering substantial reverse peak service on the Ronkonkoma Line in the mornings and evenings for the first time. The new infrastructure will enhance train reliability by allowing dispatchers flexibility to route trains around problems that may arise. The Double Track project added 13 miles of new track to an already existing 5-mile stretch of previously unused track - totaling 18 miles. The first trains are entering the new double track region more than a year ahead of the original construction schedule, which was accelerated in 2016 at Governor Cuomo's direction.

Early completion of the project will free up LIRR resources for other projects in support of LIRR's expansion and modernization like East Side Access, the Main Line Third Track, and the Mid-Suffolk Train Storage Yard. Commuters can look forward to improvements at 39 stations throughout Long Island which will include amenities such as free public Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, bicycle racks, and customer information totems.

"More tracks, whether it's here along the Ronkonkoma Branch corridor but also along the Main Line in Nassau County, mean more capacity and flexibility for the LIRR," LIRR President Phil Eng said. "That means fewer train delays from congestion or from an incident. And it's all one integrated system, so fewer delays on the Ronkonkoma Branch translates to fewer delays on other branches result from held connections or congestion at terminals."

"Work here proceeded quickly to minimize impact to the customers and the local community," said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. "In that respect, this project was a forerunner of the approach we will be taking along the Third Track corridor, minimizing disruption and maintaining continuous inclusion of the local communities."
http://www.mta.info/news/2018/09/21/lir ... uble-track" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

From NewsDay
By Alfonso A. Castillo
alfonso.castillo@newsday.com @alfonsoreports
Updated September 21, 2018 7:07 PM
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The Long Island Rail Road’s half-billion-dollar effort to construct a second track on its Main Line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma is complete, officials announced Friday.

At a ceremony at the newly constructed Wyandanch station, LIRR officials and elected leaders formally cut the ribbon on the completed 18-mile track, which has already been in use by the railroad for about a week. The completion of the project, which began in 2014, marks the first time in the LIRR’s 184-year history that trains are running on two tracks between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma — a stretch of track used by 48,000 customers daily.

In a statement, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the project’s completion “demonstrates our commitment” to transform the LIRR through 100 planned projects totaling $6.6 billion.

“The LIRR is the lifeblood of the region’s economy,” Cuomo said. “And projects like the Double Track and Third Track will help support future growth and vastly improve riders’ experience on the busiest commuter rail in the country.”

The Double Track becomes the first of several capacity-expanding megaprojects to come on line for the railroad, which has struggled in recent years to provide reliable service to a growing ridership. The LIRR — the busiest commuter railroad in North America — has moved 89 million people annually for the past two years, the most in nearly 70 years. It’s on pace to deliver its worst annual on-time performance in 19 years.

The 18 miles of new track provides the LIRR with extra capacity to run trains, including for “reverse commuters” traveling to and from jobs in Suffolk County. It also supports efforts to bolster Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma and surrounding development. And it allows the railroad to more easily work around any disruptions that occur in Suffolk.

“You can imagine, when we had just one track, [if there was] one incident on that track, we’d have to shut down service. We’d have no ability to move people east and west,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said Friday, speaking to a group of business, community and labor leaders. He called it “a proud day for all of us.”

“It shows that we can deliver when given the opportunity,” Eng said of the project, which was completed more than a year ahead of its original December 2019 target.

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Project officials said they were able to shave 15 months off the project by taking advantage of new track-laying technology and by hiring the same contractors to design and build certain elements of the project.

Still, the project did encounter some 11th-hour technical challenges, including issues with malfunctioning new signal and switch equipment, which caused extensive planned and unplanned service disruptions for LIRR commuters in recent weeks.

Janno Lieber, chief development officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, thanked customers for “putting up” with the construction-related glitches.

“They’ve been great about it,” Lieber said. “We look forward to giving them the kind of service they want and deserve.”

But not all commuters are happy about the project's completion. Dean Prentiss of Deer Park noted that with a new second track — and at some stations a new second customer platform — some commuters who were used to stepping off trains and walking directly to their cars now have to cross over from the south side of the tracks to get to parking lots on the north.

That can require walking several hundred yards to and across the nearest pedestrian overpass, or going to the nearest railroad grade crossing and waiting for the train to pull away before walking across. Prentiss said the change added as many as 15 minutes to his daily commute.

“Those 15 minutes are precious,” Prentiss said. “Now that they have two tracks . . . it should be a positive. Instead, they made it a negative.”

In response, LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan said: "The benefits of reverse-peak service and a more reliable and faster commute for 48,000 daily customers far outweigh any inconveniences.”
https://www.newsday.com/long-island/tra ... 1.21189095" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by Head-end View » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:51 pm

So now the project is complete and in operation for its first weekend. And the first thing that happens is a train hits a stalled car at Merritts Rd. in Farmingdale causing a suspension of service on the Main-line to Ronkonkoma.......... :(

Just when the Ronkonkoma passengers thought they had it made! There's always a joker in the deck on the LIRR.
Last edited by Head-end View on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:24 am

Head-end View wrote:So now the project is complete and in operation for its first weekend. And the first thing that happens is a train hits a stalled car at Merritts Rd. in Farmingdale causing a suspension of service on the Main-line to Ronkonkoma.......... :(

Just when the Ronkonkoma passengers thought they had it made! There's always a joker in the deck on the LIRR.
H-E View and Everyone: Keep in mind that this is midway between Bethpage and Farmingdale not
on the newly opened second track segments - but this grade crossing accident still caused service
to be suspended most likely because both tracks may have been affected by any residual damage
that may have been caused by the collision. If only one track was involved the second could have
been kept open with a slow order - but with single track delays will still result from trains having
to wait and cross over to the open track. Removing the vehicle and inspecting and reopening the
tracks for service is much easier when service is suspended at the accident scene unfortunately.
MACTRAXX
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: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by lpetrich » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:21 am

This is weird. The project's original URL http://web.mta.info/lirr/doubletrack/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; now redirects to LIRR Double Track Project Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma – A Modern LI at A Modern LI – LIRR Modernization Program.

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by Riverduckexpress » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:34 pm

lpetrich wrote:This is weird. The project's original URL http://web.mta.info/lirr/doubletrack/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; now redirects to LIRR Double Track Project Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma – A Modern LI at A Modern LI – LIRR Modernization Program.
Here's the link to past versions of that page on the Web Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20130901000 ... ubletrack/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Perhaps the agency doesn't want people to see the original MTA page that promised half-hourly off-peak service after the end of the project? :wink:

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by MattAmity90 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:03 pm

He beat me to the punch when it comes to the fact that the grade crossing incident occurred on a section of the Ronkonkoma Branch that was originally double-tracked to begin with well before they electrified the line. Like the project's moto is Two Tracks are Better than One, but I would love to see a weekend or a whole week go without someone being a monkey wrench.

If you think about it, most of the incidents that caused past interruptions (even before the project got the green light) occurred between Hicksville and Farmingdale. With the added reverse off-peak I was and I'm still worried about incidents at the following grade crossings:

-Straight Path
-Commack Road
-Executive Drive (Despite the fact it had been converted to a 2-track crossing when the branch was electrified)
-Carleton Avenue

Grade crossings that were already 2-tracks before the project of course will have me on edge.

Part of it is the increase in speed through stations now that we have two uninterrupted, continuous tracks. They actually wanted to close Wyandanch when the electrification of the branch was announced since they feared of trains flying through Straight Path at 80 MPH/MAS.
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: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by vince » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:52 pm

Gentlemen,

Full four quadrant gates are better and may save some lives. Cost more yes,(est. about 30%) but what's a life worth?

Been watching some train cab ride videos in Europe . . . pretty much full quadrant in use everywhere.

regards,
vince

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by LB » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:33 pm

Did they retain the position lights at Ronkonkoma or switch to new signals?

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by MattAmity90 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:10 pm

LB wrote:Did they retain the position lights at Ronkonkoma or switch to new signals?
All interlockings East of FARM except for KO (which goes into the yard) have been converted from position light to the new color signals. FARM will maintain their position lights, but the new DANCH, JS, new CI, the new OCEAN switch, and POND (former KO) had all the signal gantries razed, BRENT, FARM2, and CI1-CI2 have been razed. Up and down the line there are nothing but the NYCTA/Subway pedestal signals.
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: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by LB » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:48 am

OK, thanks for the update. Are there plans to convert Hicksville over to color signals?

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Re: MTA LIRR Double Track Project - Ronkonkoma to Farmingdal

Post by Head-end View » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:26 pm

Good question about Divide Interlocking at Hicksville. Been wondering about that myself. I'm guessing maybe as part of the Third Track Project. Hope they use the full-size signals with the triangular "G" Heads, not the new Reduced Aspect Signals now on the double track to Ronkonkoma.

Current pos-light signals at Divide were put in circa 2000 replacing the ones from the elevation project in 1964.

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