LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

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

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JoeLIRR

Post by JoeLIRR » Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:24 pm

I had a converasation w/ a LIRR employee who said that all a 3rd track on the main will do is caus more conjestion on the main if they dont wake up and doubble track to KO. even he agreed that it would be worth a CRR then a sole 3rd track main.

F#$% the NIMBYs n spend the money now so u dont have to spend more in the next 30 yrs on something that is needed now. I feel that if done right a new CRR will be able to come close to paying it self off in maby a decade or more of fequient service.

In the long run I would say that the CRR is more fiesable now then a 3rd trk on the main. a 3 trk main would be eaiser and cheeper to do after the CRR is rebuilt and they Doubble trk to KO.

The only way to get the real results is to try it, but there is no way in hell that that can happen unfrotunatly.

atkelly

Post by atkelly » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:29 am

I think the whole Idea of turning existing LIRR lines, especially the OB line into Light Rail to service the Mid Island is - well - dumb. It is just another Souzzi tinkering with Glen Cove in the name of modernization. Remember his dad was the one who ripped up the downtown in the name of Urban Renewal to build Massive Parking Garages that go un-used. Besides, the number of riders who would go south to work or shop by rail is far out weighed by the people who currently travel into the city. The other options make more sense, but not conversion of Rail Lines to Light rail.

hotbike
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Post by hotbike » Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:38 pm

Oyster Bay Light Rail? They should've thought of that before the MTA put the high level platforms in place. Now it's too late. Although the low level platforms are still in place in front of the old station buildings. They just have to remove the chain link fence. Maybe both commuter and light rail could share the track?
I don't like the idea of removing the Oyster Bay branch diesels from service.
Light rail along the abandonned track is a good idea. If Light rail could take me from Mineola station to Roosevelt Field Mall, I'd ride it to go shopping there.
Jim Donohue
hotbike@hotmail.com

hotbike
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Post by hotbike » Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:41 pm

To continue:
The third track thru Mineola should be at grade level.
What was the NEW Mineola Boulevard overpass built for, with room for a third track to go UNDER?

NIMBYkiller
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Location: Port Washington

Post by NIMBYkiller » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:00 pm

"I think the whole Idea of turning existing LIRR lines, especially the OB line into Light Rail to service the Mid Island is - well - dumb"

Who the hell mentioned anything bout makin LIRR into light rail? That's a horrible idea. It'd make it incimpatible with the current system.


"Besides, the number of riders who would go south to work or shop by rail is far out weighed by the people who currently travel into the city."

Well, yeah, obviously, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't serve those that do. The current bus system is completely inadequte.


"Oyster Bay Light Rail? They should've thought of that before the MTA put the high level platforms in place. "

Actually, it was proposed to them long before the high levels were installed, but MTA didn't want anything to do with it. They only want to serve thise going to NYC.


"Although the low level platforms are still in place in front of the old station buildings"

Only at stations north of Greenvale. Greenvale, Roslyn, Albertson, and East Williston all had the high levels put over the lows, however, I think the original low on the north side of the crossing is still there, sorta. The yellow and green lines are still on the remaining asphalt as well.


"Maybe both commuter and light rail could share the track?"

Illegal. Just make the intra-island rail service the same type as the current commuter service.

NIMBYkiller
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Location: Port Washington

Post by NIMBYkiller » Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:05 pm

"Light rail along the abandonned track is a good idea"

I don't know, I think heavy rail(like the LIRR) would be better. It'd be campatible with the current system allowing for future expansion, or just intergrating the new service with current lines at the start.


"If Light rail could take me from Mineola station to Roosevelt Field Mall, I'd ride it to go shopping there. "

Why not just take the bus that does that? It runs just as fast. I'm not saying buses are superior, just that the option is there already. And besides, there are bigger fish to fry. Mineola to RFM is already covered. Why not just make an entirely new system, like the one I set up on my site. New rail corridors(and island wide bus lines) that now require multiple buses to cover, some not even covered by buses.


"The third track thru Mineola should be at grade level.
What was the NEW Mineola Boulevard overpass built for, with room for a third track to go UNDER?"

Yeah, that's what it was built for. That is the only thing that made some sense. The bridge was already there, they just made the space for the third track(and made it higher I'm told for possible double stacked freight in the future). Other than that though, yeah, keep the third at the same level as the rest of the main, at grade.

pineywoodsman
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Location: Westbury,NY

Floral Park NIMBY's at it again

Post by pineywoodsman » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:39 am

Residents: MTA/LIRR Needs to Get on Right Track
Voice Strong Opposition at First Scoping Meeting
By Carisa Keane
The message was loud and clear. Residents living along the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) 11.5-mile Main Line Corridor do not - under any circumstance - want a third - or fourth or fifth - track installed. They do however, welcome the elimination of on-grade crossings in New Hyde Park (Covert Avenue, 12th Street and New Hyde Park Road), Westbury (School Street) and New Cassel (Urban Avenue) and believe that phase of the LIRR's highly controversial Main Line Corridor Improvements Project be tackled now.

In order to collect input from local communities for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the LIRR held its first of three public scoping meetings June 14 at Jericho Terrace in Mineola. Residents and elected officials alike - from several of the nine villages to be affected by the mega project - urged that the MTA/LIRR derail the third track proposal altogether.

The EIS will be prepared in 2006 while public hearings are slated for early 2007. The final EIS, which will document the elected course of action, is expected in the summer of 2007 with a record of decision anticipated later that year. Construction is not slated to begin until 2009, with an estimated project completion date sometime in 2016.

Many fear the increased running of freight along the Main Line is the underlying reason behind the possible third track installation, although Elisa Pica, LIRR's chief planning officer, assured otherwise. Others simply don't buy the projections that such an "improvement" will help accommodate increased ridership and reverse peak service, especially in light of the fact that increased fares recently went into effect to offset decreased ridership.

Moreover, people fear for their homes. As stated in the scoping document, prepared by DMJM Harris, the LIRR's environmental consultant, "some property acquisition may be necessary in order to construct a new continuous additional track and for some station area and roadway grade crossing improvements" although the LIRR anticipates that "most" of the Main Line Corridor proposed improvements could take place within the existing right-of-way.

Prior to a determination of which property must be acquired, analysis of the pros and cons of several approaches will be conducted as part of the evaluation of alternatives. County tax maps and data included in the project Geographic Information System (GIS) data set will be integral in assessing the approximate amount of land necessary for acquisition.

The scoping document further notes that property identified for acquisition, as part of the Draft EIS, may not ultimately be required in order to construct the project. Final decisions regarding property acquisition will be taken after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issues a Record of Decision (due out in late 2007). The final design of facilities will determine exact property needs and the needs will be verified with detailed survey data.

The area under study is one of the most densely traveled corridors in the region; it extends from Queens Village east to Hicksville. Stations in the corridor currently under evaluation include Queens Village, Bellerose, Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue in Garden City, Mineola, Carle Place, Westbury and Hicksville.

The EIS will consider alternatives to meet passenger service needs - build alternatives and a no-build alternative will be evaluated. The build alternatives include different track alignments, including northern alignments, southern alignments and alignments that combine the two. LIRR officials do not know which alignment is likely at this time.

The no-build or "do nothing" alternative would eliminate construction of a third track as well as station and grade crossing improvements altogether. "This alternative will be used as a basis of comparison to understand the effects of the build alternatives," Pica noted.

The concept of adding another track to the Main Line is not new; talk has been circulating for years. Many suggested the MTA/LIRR take the money earmarked for the installation of an additional track and use it to begin eliminating the on-grade crossings.

Rosealeen Shea, co-chair of the Long Island Rail Road Committee in Bellerose Village, questioned the project's funding. "Floral Park Mayor Phil Guarnieri and State Senator Mike Balboni have their priorities right by urging the MTA/LIRR to undertake the elimination of grade crossings first and keep them completely separate from the third track mega project. The MTA/LIRR's own budget reveals that they are in fact two separate spending items.

"The grade crossings project is budgeted for $60.3 million in 2008 and another $20 million in 2009. The third track project is budgeted for $4.5 million in 2007 and another $117.8 million in 2009. In addition, the MTA/LIRR is only budgeting for its share of spending for the three grade crossing eliminations in the New Hyde Park vicinity. If funding gets tight, or if no other arm of government comes up with any missing portions for these grade elimination projects, there's no guarantee that the project's handful of grade crossings will in fact be eliminated," Shea continued.

Shea pointed out an even greater concern. "The MTA/LIRR only budgeted for Phase I, with its construction impacting neighborhoods from eastern Queens to Mineola, while Phase II, which targets Mineola to Hicksville, is not yet funded. Communities within the Phase I construction zone face the possibility that - despite being asked to endure years of construction, including the destruction of greenery and the condemnation of property - there is no lock box guarantee that Phase II from Mineola to Hicksville will ever be completed. The MTA/LIRR must focus on taking care of the facilities it has now rather than continuing to spend our taxpayers' dollars with such irrational exuberance," she said.

William Corbett of Floral Park, who spoke as a small business owner at the 4-6 p.m. session, spoke that evening as president of Floral Park's West End Civic Association. "First off, I don't think anyone is against the elimination of the rail crossings," he said to rousing applause.

The installation of an additional track however Corbett said would affect the approximately 900 families in the West End of Floral Park. Right now, on Atlantic Avenue in the West End of Floral Park, you have a nice tree-shaded avenue. We have hundreds of trees and hundreds of shrubs that were planted ... that would be replaced possibly by a 30-foot cement wall, which would destroy our neighborhood ... We don't want Floral Park to become a HUB, where you're going to have interconnecting bus service and make it a very big crossroads. It's a nice, quiet community and we want to keep it that way."

Bellerose Village Mayor Donna Sherrer, who wore a C.A.R.E. (Citizens Against Rail Expansion) sticker, said, "With all the studies being proposed, nobody is proposing a study on the quality of life, quality of community and quality of security that comes with living in a close knit well-established community ... There are times when being a visionary takes more than a plan and a study. One must seek out the human factors involved. I'm sure at the upcoming hearings you will hear from the hearts of residents from all communities involved. I only hope you seriously listen with your hearts and get a real pulse on how detrimental this proposed project will be to most communities along the Main Line Corridor."

Floral Park Mayor Phil Guarnieri, who also attended the 4-6 p.m. session June 14, spoke again later that evening to reaffirm the village's strong opposition to installing an additional track. "The so-called Main Line Improvements Project attempts to merge together the need for on-grade crossing eliminations with the unneeded construction of a third track.

"This erroneous linkage has led the public to become confused and misinformed. The on-grade elimination project is a completely separate item in the MTA's own budget. It also appears that the MTA will fund only part of the grade crossing eliminations, rather than shoulder the entire cost of the project. If the MTA is truly concerned about grade elimination, then it should be done before any part of the mega project takes place. I believe that the MTA/LIRR's real purpose is to add a third track to run more trains and spend taxpayers' money. While few in Floral Park oppose enhancing the region's transportation infrastructure, we believe it should not be done on the backs and in the backyards of our residents ... If the MTA has taxpayer dollars to spend in Floral Park, they should use them to improve the facilities we already have, which are either inadequate or in disrepair ... the MTA/LIRR has burdened Floral Park more than enough. On behalf of all the village residents and their neighbors who live near the railroad right-of-way from Queens Village to Hicksville, we ask that this project be given the burial it deserves."

John Kennedy, president of the Nassau-Suffolk Building Trades Council, which represents over 60,000 construction workers, was the sole speaker who urged the MTA/LIRR to move the project forward. "Our members and their families are not only interested in the jobs that this proposed project will offer them but the reliable, clean source of transportation that will be available on Long Island now and in the future ... The dollars spent on this project that will employ our members will be returned to this region three times over ... Building at this time is an investment that makes economic sense."

Robert Burke, a trustee with the Floral Park-Bellerose School Board of Education and the Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education, said he found the presentation insulting. "Everything you said can be read on your website," he told MTA/LIRR officials.

Burke's comments were echoed throughout the evening in which residents appeared frustrated that no definitive information was ever provided. They'll have to wait for written responses from the MTA/LIRR, which will be provided after the comment period officially closes Aug. 31, nearly two months from now.

The MTA/LIRR held its second scoping meeting Thursday, June 16 at Floral Terrace in Floral Park and will hold its third Tuesday, June 21, at Antun's in Hicksville. All comments from each meeting will be entered into a project record. Additional comments can be submitted in writing to Peter Palamaro, LIRR Public Affairs, Jamaica Station, 1131, Jamaica, NY 11435, prior to Aug. 31. Visit www.mta.info/mta/planning/mainline for more project information and future project updates.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

— Benjamin Franklin

Lirr168
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Re: Floral Park NIMBY's at it again

Post by Lirr168 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:57 am

pineywoodsman wrote:The message was loud and clear. Residents living along the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) 11.5-mile Main Line Corridor do not - under any circumstance - want a third - or fourth or fifth - track installed. They do however, welcome the elimination of on-grade crossings in New Hyde Park (Covert Avenue, 12th Street and New Hyde Park Road), Westbury (School Street) and New Cassel (Urban Avenue) and believe that phase of the LIRR's highly controversial Main Line Corridor Improvements Project be tackled now.
So, let me get this straight: they're willing to have their property bought out from under them to allow grade crossings to be eliminated, which could possibly save them the 30 seconds it takes for a train to pass. Yet, they oppose the Main line Improvement, which could save people hours on their commute. Liberals...

One of One-Sixty

Post by One of One-Sixty » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:10 am

Figures, I am planning on going to the one in Hicksville to speak up for the 3rd rail and grade crossing, anybody want to join me?

Legio X

Post by Legio X » Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:35 am

These people forget that the railroad was here first, and maybe these people should've bought houses elsewhere.

N.Y. State Of Mind

Post by N.Y. State Of Mind » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:49 am

If they don't like the third track, then they should relocate to some area that has no rail service, just like those bastards from Monsey should do. Wyoming, anyone?

Long Island 7285

Post by Long Island 7285 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:53 pm

they should relocate period they should relocate with the clothes on there back and nothing more. let'em learn.

the LIRR should or the countys should pose a ban on the properity along the ROWs the county can pass a law that if you buy a house along a rail road ROW live or abandond you are yo sign an agreement that you will not and cannot complain about the railroad operation and improvements to make the very service you may use better.

if you dont sign this agreement then you are to either not buy that land or if you live there already you are to move out or just accept that the railroad has the right to build and expand to meet its growing needs.

its not impossible it can passed.

NC/SC makes it a law that any one buying a house along a rail ROW is to sign an agreement with the LIRR and the county that they will not complain about the railroad comming to town or they will not buy or move out when it does.

simple salutions to NIMBY existing problems

N.Y. State Of Mind

Post by N.Y. State Of Mind » Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:25 pm

I have a better idea:

If the NIMBYs are that opposed to adding a third track along the Main line, then the third track project should be scrapped. Instead, the companies who employ reverse-peak passengers should move out of Long Island, and into New York City, Westchester County, and/or New Jersey. I wonder how much those NIMBYs like paying higher taxes, as a result of their towns no longer being able to collect tax revenues from said companies.

AMoreira81

Post by AMoreira81 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:12 pm

One, however, forgets that in the end, since they are dealing with the state, they could be simply be cut out of the loop, until it comes time for eminent domain to be used. OR, close Floral Park and demolish it (with the fifth track going where the platform was).

Either way, thank G-D that the MTA is a state authority, and that they already knew to ignore the NIMBYs of Westhampton. My guess is that, opposition or not, this will get built, since eminent domain specifically permits construction for the benefit of mass transit.

AMoreira81

Post by AMoreira81 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:13 pm

Long Island 7285 wrote:they should relocate period they should relocate with the clothes on there back and nothing more. let'em learn.

the LIRR should or the countys should pose a ban on the properity along the ROWs the county can pass a law that if you buy a house along a rail road ROW live or abandond you are yo sign an agreement that you will not and cannot complain about the railroad operation and improvements to make the very service you may use better.

if you dont sign this agreement then you are to either not buy that land or if you live there already you are to move out or just accept that the railroad has the right to build and expand to meet its growing needs.

its not impossible it can passed.

NC/SC makes it a law that any one buying a house along a rail ROW is to sign an agreement with the LIRR and the county that they will not complain about the railroad comming to town or they will not buy or move out when it does.

simple salutions to NIMBY existing problems
Existing leglsiation already permits eminent domain to be used for the purpose of mass transit capital projects. However, I am not sure where this battle would be waged: in state court (since the LIRR is part of the MTA) or in federal court (since the LIRR is under FRA jurisdiction).

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