Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

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Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:12 am

I came across this most recent article about improving track capacity on the Montauk Line. I think this would be a good idea as not only do you have people commuting intra Eastern Long Island, but this would help the summer vacation crowds too. ... TdIm2MpRZw" onclick=";return false;

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by gamer4616 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:13 pm

I came across that article as well. There's some misinformation written...

"Only one train at a time can be on the track between Speonk and Montauk, going in either direction, under the current configuration. So if there is an eastbound train heading to Montauk from Hampton Bays, there could not be a westbound train heading in the opposite direction to Hampton Bays. That severely limits scheduling."

There are interlocked sidings at Southampton and Hampton Bays, which are used regularly. Switches at Westhampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Amagansett are not interlocked (remotely controlled). These switches have to be operated manually and take time to operate them. Trains were layed up in Bridgehampton and Amagansett during the US Open Golf Tournament in Shinnecock Last year.

In my view, a few things that would help the Montauk Branch, particularly in the summer months, would be:

1)Double Track extended to Patchogue

2)Island Platform at Patchogue - Both Tracks in Patchogue station would share a platform and eliminate delays related to trains having to go to a siding east of the station, in order to clear up the station, only to come back in a few minutes. Upcoming PTC will result in further delays in this scenario. An island platform would help to minimize the delays.

3)South Platform at Hampton Bays - When 2 trains "meet" at Hampton Bays, the train that takes the siding and makes a station stop, is limited to 6 cars. A south platform would eliminate this restriction.

4)Interlock Amagansett siding - Running trains with 8+ cars leaves Southampton as the only place to have trains "meet". Interlocking Amagansett will allow flexibility.

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:34 pm

For starters, it would be good for the Montauk line to have continuous double tracking as far as Patchogue Station and yes, maybe having a center island platform there would help. I didn't even think of that. I thought about having a opposite side platforms. I can imagine that the Patchogue Station gets extremely busy, especially during the summertime. There are probably many year round commuters who are commuting to jobs in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan who board the train in Patchogue. I also thought that it might be nice to have the double track end at Speonk since there is an actual yard there.

As for East of Speonk, it would probably be a matter of restoring sidings that aren't used anymore and there are probably many of them. I did not even think about adding a second platform at Hampton Bays Station. That's a good idea.

It might be nice for more of the station platforms to be lengthened since it's not unusual for eight car trains to run on the Montauk. I know the Cannonball during the summer operates with twelve extremely crowded cars. That train has to be spotted a few times at many of the stations. I have watched youtube videos of the Cannonball being spotted twice at Westhampton Station.

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by nyandw » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:41 pm

"...State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said on Tuesday that the 2019-20 state budget is expected to include dedicated funding that could be used for the planning process of expanding the Montauk Branch, although the amount of money was not disclosed. The expansion would include adding interlocked sidings along with sections of double track that will allow trains to pass. “That would be great,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said on Tuesday after hearing the news. “That really is our technical roadblock. Maybe it’s not a roadblock but a train block.”..."

" expected, ... could be used... although the amount of money was not disclosed..." :-( Great, but perhaps more political posturing on the part of elected officials to be able to provide the electorate with indication of what great work is being done in Albany, that may never come to pass? How much, when, and who will pay? Opinion: A non-starter and DOA, just a head line grabber. (See past 50 years of this type of announcement) Please correct me, if I'm off base on this one.

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:13 am

Gamer and Buff - My answers to the four questions are:

1-Yes. Adding a second track to the 3.3 mile segment from Y Interlocking (50.6 from LIC) to
Patchogue (53.9) is a logical first step here.

2-No. There is not sufficient room for an island platform at Patchogue. Adding a North platform
with at least one overhead pedestrian walkway for the extended second track should be enough.

From looking at an overhead view I took note to the property across from the Patchogue Station
building: Is there enough room there for the new platform without encroaching on any private
property? Looking at the width of the current platform in comparison it looks possible...

There are crossovers east of the station that can be used for what will be the new end of single
track - and there is a third layup track also east of the Ocean Avenue crossing (at the east end
of the station where PD Tower once was) to turn the Babylon-Patchogue Scoot when needed.

3-South platform at Hampton Bays? Maybe. Ridership counts need to be checked to see if the
numbers justify the expense of a new six car high level platform there.

4-Interlock the Amagansett siding to allow long trains to meet there? Maybe. It is 11.5 miles
from AG (104.3 from LIC) to Montauk (115.8) which is one of the longest stretches between
stations on the LIRR. Again this depends if the expense is justified by the changes that this
addition will allow.


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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:20 am

Under the CTC that now reaches Montauk,AG siding had electric locked switches installed, AG was set up a holding signal in both directions.
Believe it's all controlled by the Babylon tower east operator.
The siding is usable,but the crew hand throws the switch after it's unlocked.

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:49 am

One of the things to consider with building a center island platform at Patchogue is that would it be wide enough to handle extreme crowds. It seems that it might. It might be better for a north platform to be built and there should be enough room on the north side of the tracks. There might be trees that would have to be removed. Yes, it is a long stretch between the Amagansett and Montauk Station. I had this idea about maybe extending the siding in Southampton to where the Main Street underpass is so that way two trains can serve the Southampton Station at once. Being that Southampton is one of the largest villages on the East End, the Southampton Station probably sees very high ridership counts, especially during the summer.

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Re: Improved Track Capacity for Montauk Line

Post by berlintransit » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:03 pm

From my (European, clockface schedule influenced) POV:

To provide capacity for a regular 1 tph (60 min interval clockface schedule) service on the East End of the Montauk Branch in both directions, the minimum infrastructure required would be
- a second side platform at Patchogue, better including a relocation of the switch into the loop to west of West Ave LC so a long (12 car) train can squeeze into the platform loop - center platform would be difficult to deliver and not really necessary IMO
- a westbound lengthening of Speonk South loop into the current platform area and two new side platforms (or an operationally equivalent alternative)
- an interlocking of Amagansett loop
(trains meeting every 60 mins at PD, SPK, SH, AG)

To provide for a 2 tph (30 min interval) train service, infrastructure required would be
- a westbound lengthening of Mastic-Shirley loop over William Floyd Pkwy to allow for a second side platform opposite the existing on the north side of the LIRR ROW
- a lengthening of Hampton Bays loop 0.5 to 1 mile west with a switch allowing for 60 mph diverge speed at the end
- a new interlocked siding near Wainscott and East Hampton Airport, potentially including a station stop
- interlocked switches at Montauk to speed up meets there or even a dedicated siding west of the station
(trains meeting at MS, HB/RPK, Wainscott and Montauk additionally)

Operations would be smoothened by the effect of trains meeting during their platform stops in Patchogue, Mastic-Shirley and Speonk and "nearly on-the-fly" west of Hampton Bays.
To further stabilize and improve operational quality, infrastructural measures (not necessarily required for scheduling the above services but greatly improving flexibility and expected reliability) would also include
- faster diverge speed turnouts at most of the interlocked sidings
- longer platforms to reduce exceeding planned dwell times during travel peaks
- extending double-tracking from Y Interlocking to Patchogue
- moving Amagansett station platform and passenger facilities to the location of the (then interlocked) loop
- second platforms at Hampton Bays and Southampton on the loops
- interlocking of remaining uncontrolled loops
- further double-track sections

Single most important measure in my opinion is interlocking and rehabilitation of the Amagansett loop. SH - Montauk is 45 mins of running time with no opportunity for meets, that is about thrice as long as the distance between other interlockings on the branch and greatly reduces the ability of simultaneously running trains to and from Montauk.

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