• LIRR Mainline Third Track Project

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

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by Head-end View
The new Nassau-1 Interlocking is between Merillon Ave. Station and the Herricks Rd. overpass.

Nassau Tower and Divide Tower both closed some time ago and are now both operated from the Jamaica Control Center. (JCC on the radio)

The third track actually begins at the east end of Floral Park Station at the newly reconstituted Park Interlocking........... Before the elevation project at Floral Park circa 1960, Park Interlocking had existed at approx. the same location and originally controlled the dividing point of the Main Line and the Hempstead Branch, which was moved to Queens Interlocking at that time. Good LIRR history. :-)
  by twropr
When was the third track extended east from Queens to Park?
  by bellstbarn
In a sense, the answer to that question is Monday, August 15, 2022. The implementation of Park interlocking, consisting of a single new switch off what was or is the westbound Hempstead track is shown in this YouTube video by Kamper. How Hemsptead Branch trains will be accommodated, I don't know.
Sometime in 1949 or 1950, Dad brought me by subway and bus to the westbound platform to observe rail traffic and take 8mm black-and-white movie clips, one of a steam train rushing to Jamaica and another of a multiple-unit train coming off the Hempstead branch and zig-zagging across the Main Line to the high platform where we stood. This was before track elevation.
Andy and BSB -
Earlier in this topic I posted that the LIRR may reverse the directions on the two Hempstead Branch tracks
to eliminate the directional conflict at what now is Park Interlocking...

The length of the Hempstead Branch between Park (15.0) and Garden (18.7-where double track ends)
is 4.7 miles with Stewart Manor(16.3), Nassau Boulevard(17.3), and Garden City(18.4) Stations along the route...

Reversing the Hempstead Branch tracks would not be need to be implemented until full three track service
begins with the completion of the Main Line Third Track Project later this year...MACTRAXX
  by flexliner
Does anyone have a track schematic of the new layout?

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  by bellstbarn
Scroll down on this Trains Are Fun link until you see the map for Q3 2022. It excludes tracks west of Park. In Mineola it shows switches from Track 3 to each of the Oyster Bay tracks. It does a good job showing the wiggle near New Cassel, although I cannot read the vertical print;
http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/3rd%20 ... roject.htm
I cannot find a track map that includes Elmont.
  by Head-end View
Andy, to answer your earlier question, the third track arguably begins at Park, not at Queens unless the designations are being changed between those two interlockings. That section of track between Queens and Park has always been there (since the 1960 elevation anyway) and is actually the westbound Hempstead Branch track (H1).
  by flexliner
Maybe I cannot fathom how the running patterns will turn out but seems like having OB trains in both directions come off the one track (“WB platform) and WB Hempstead train coming into FP on what looks like the “EB” track on the main line is gonna result in a lotta crossings of trains and to my uneducated guess looks like it will slow the road down not make it more efficient.
But like I said maybe I don’t get it.

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Visited Mineola and New Hyde Park this evening - The new triple track layout at NHP is impressive...
There are three trains operating eastbound on Track #3 - including the busy Hicksville local scheduled
at 6:08 PM between about 5:55 PM and 6:20 PM (at NHP)

Took notice to an eastbound Oyster Bay train at Mineola boarding on Platform A - the westbound local train from Huntington scheduled at 5:40 PM had to wait E of Mineola Station for the OB train to leave-something that
has to be emphasized at busy times of day is making announcements such as "Eastbound train to Oyster Bay -
Next Station East Williston - This is NOT the train to Jamaica or Penn Station" so passengers board the correct
trains...Having ALL OB trains serve Platform A at Mineola is going to be a work in progress...MACTRAXX
  by Head-end View
I agree with flexliner that there are going to be problems at Mineola re: the Oyster Bay trains delaying each other and westbound Main-Line trains. I'm guessing it's maybe a matter of cost. The MTA may not have wanted to build a crossover from the south track across the other two tracks to the O.B. Branch.

Also, as we discussed at length several months back, I believe the LIRR will come to regret not having platform access for the middle track at an important station like Mineola. And yes, I understand how difficult it would have been to do it.

Gonna be lots of congestion at Mineola next year..........
  by flexliner
Agree with head-end-view Mineola is gonna get crowded.
And no matter how many and how loud announcements are made regarding a given train you can bet your bottom dollar there’s gonna be a lotta folks on wrong trains. Specially all those AirPodsers who won’t hear any announcements and who have their head so buried in their phones they won’t even see the direction a train is coming from or going to.

IMHO best layout would’ve been a la Myrtle Ave with two island platforms and all track access to the OB branch.
Yes still some crossovers but still seems less confusion than this new layout.
But probably impossible to build. Pity.
Just my two cents.

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  by Head-end View
Not impossible to build, but difficult and expensive. And again, I think in time the MTA will regret not having done it, when they see how much flexibility they will have lost at Mineola.
  by flexliner
What about Floral park? Or is that basically the same amount of crossovers as before even with the new layout?

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Everyone - This is the MTA press release from Monday August 15 (8:30 PM) on the opening of the first three mile
segment of the third track from Floral Park through New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue stations (to Nassau 1):
https://new.mta.info/press-release/icym ... hird-track

FL: Floral Park is going to be interesting to see the track layout at and around Park Interlocking...
I plan a visit to Floral Park in the coming days to take a good look at the changes...MACTRAXX
  by Head-end View
I visited Floral Park Station recently. About all there is to see is the new switch at the east end of the station where the third track begins as a main-line continuation of Hempstead Track-1. Best viewed from the east end of the center platform. There is a new reduced-aspect signal there too. You can also see a position-light signal at the west end of that platform .

Be mindful that the station is in poor condition; platform surfaces are falling apart so watch your footing. That station is about sixty-two years old. Hopefully the MTA will rebuild it sometime soon like Hicksville (a newer but busier station) was done several years ago.

Thinking about all those mostly unused platforms at Floral Park, I'm surprised all that money was spent in the late 1950's to build them and such a wide elevated structure for the station with all the extra disruption to the downtown village. They built it so every track would have a platform, unlike Mineola today. If that place would have been built with the same economy as the new Mineola complex, you would have had just a single island platform between the Hempstead tracks kind of like at Valley Stream Station.
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