• The East Side Access Project Discussion (ESA)

  • 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 photobug56
And what day will the first breakdown occur? And what day is the schedule they released (supposedly draft but not really) go into effect?

While we're at it, do any of the escalators or elevators work? And did they ever figure out what to do to get people out if there was a major blackout?
  by Head-end View
That'll be a very cool Christmas present.
  by photobug56
Do we have any details on what sort of testing and emergency drills they've been doing? My comparison is the very well documented prep for opening the Elizabeth Line in the UK (Crossrail), which had very heavy testing, emergency drills with volunteers, prior to the first part opening recently. And Washington Metro just had some rather silly publicity of how an emergency drill at Ashburn on the Silver Line extension was delayed for hours because of rust on the unused tracks (tracks were finished quite a while ago and got rusty since) interfered with devices that test for 3rd rail current (I guess the tool I use at home to sense current won't help since it's designed for AC).
  by gamer4616
Crews are being trained on the new terminal. From what I saw, its going to look great. There's still quite a bit of construction going on. It is a massive terminal, ranging from 42nd Street to 50th Street. The LIRR facilities (Ticket Office, Lost and Found, etc...) will be at 47th street. There are plenty of staircases throughout, in case of a power failure.

I would expect very few (if any) of the retail space on the LIRR concourse to be open for business on 12/5. That seems to be something that would open next year. Of course, plenty of retail on the main concourse.

There was a push for an unannounced October opening (just in time for election day), but it appears all signs point to 12/5.

For such a big terminal, the employee facilities are not spacious at all and were very underwhelming.

The Mid Day Yard facilities are very nice. It came out great. It is a massive yard. There's very limited parking available for employees, but it is accessible by subway.
gamer4616 wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:41 pm From what I'm hearing, service to Grand Central will commence on Monday December 5th, 2022
Gamer - THANK YOU for that tentative opening date - the opening of ESA/GCTM is going to become
one of the most significant dates in LIRR History - right up there with the opening of Penn Station which was
(for the record in case anyone reading these posts was unaware) September 8, 1910...
H-E: I agree with you - Opening ESA/GCTM will be quite a 2022 Christmas present for LIRR riders...

With this year's NYS elections there may have been some emphasis to try and open GCTM around the end
of October - It is better that ESA is not rushed to be opened with continued work on the route still underway...
The added track capacity that will be available with the completion of the Main Line Third Track Project is
going to be needed for the schedule changes that will go into effect on Monday December 5, 2022...

From what I have noticed from riding the Main Line today between Hicksville and New Hyde Park is that
there is significant track work that will be necessary between Nassau 1 and 2 through Mineola to finish
Section Two in the coming weeks - Section Three between Nassau 2 and east of Westbury has segments
that are graded with ballast ready for the new third track to be laid - and others with the track in place...

I mentioned this in the ESA/GCTM topic because finishing the Main Line Third Track Project are going to
complement one another - it will be interesting if all three tracks on the Main Line will be open by the end
of October - and Election Day (Tuesday November 8)...This looks like it is going to be a push to open the
full 10.1 mile route in about 10 weeks time - with good weather (example) they may just make it...MACTRAXX
  by photobug56
They do plan to finish 3rd track right before the general election, though that's not how the official notices put it. It appears that the hard parts are mostly finished - track laying can go quickly. Though it's interesting that there is no talk I've heard officially of actual 3rd track testing. The implication is that they finish a piece and open it up, though that seems absurd. Hochul did make a huge thing of what, a 3 mile ride on it, days ago, even though part of it being done has only one effect I know of - in case of a problem on a piece of track (including a stuck train), it may now be possible to get around it with minimal hassle. Though judging from Hochul's huge show, 1. she did the whole thing herself, 2. the work is completely finished.

You are very right - 3rd track and ESA are closely related. Grand Central LIRR couldn't be opened without 3rd track. But one thing to note - the 'huge' improvement in reverse commuting apparently is intended for electric territory only. Those of us in diesel country still don't count. And in recent times, LIRR / MTA have downplayed any plans to electrify any diesel areas, even the Central Line (which would give them greatly improved flexibility). The battery 'project' is over - the numbers they came up with make it clear they don't want to do it (they seem to greatly exaggerate costs for projects they don't want to do). And apparently, even though the diesel fleet is way too small and falling apart, any plans to start buying new equipment seem to have gone away, though I've long wondered, if given a chance to buy a new fleet, would they buy equipment that could fit into ESA tunnels, etc. Back in 1996, LIRR officials told me that what they were going to buy (the current fleet) would be 3 inches too tall for ESA.
  by Kelly&Kelly
The Governor's office is demanding a revenue train be operated prior to Election Day. This will be for a photo and news opportunity announcing the opening by the c̶a̶n̶d̶i̶d̶a̶t̶e̶ Governor "ahead of schedule".

If it can be done, it will be without announcement. A regular Penn Station train may be used at the end of commission hours with no prior notice before Jamaica, where passengers on the regular train may choose to transfer to a Penn Station train before it is diverted.

The Governor's party with select favorable media will board at Forrest Hills as the plans appear now. The new station will be populated with "passengers" and will be again closed after the special's arrival and e̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ publicity photos.

Hey, maybe they'll hand out mail-in ballots on the train too.
  by lpetrich
LIRR to Grand Central: Draft Schedules - from the looks of it, it's half-half between Penn Station and GCT except in the wee hours of the morning (12 AM - 6 AM), when it's mostly Penn Station.

Opening on Monday seems rather odd, since that day requires full-scale service. Starting on Saturday would be less risky, and I recall that many opening dates are indeed Saturdays. Though BART started with Mondays, it moved to Saturdays in the mid-1990's.
  by daybeers
photobug56 wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:48 pm And what day will the first breakdown occur? And what day is the schedule they released (supposedly draft but not really) go into effect?

While we're at it, do any of the escalators or elevators work? And did they ever figure out what to do to get people out if there was a major blackout?
Pessimistic much? Jeez!
  by workextra
We all can understand the political aspirations with rushing ESA into revenue service.
For what it’s worth. It’s nowhere near ready for the public to be brought down there unguided.
It’s bad enough for employees or so I’ve heard. The absolute last thing LIRR needs is to invite their “vaulted customers” into a incomplete facility for which the valued customer expected to be fully operational and completed.
It’s Been 30+ years since they been fancying this ESA, let’s not screw it up any more than they already did just to make the current Governor Look like a hero.
She will be better respected for turning over a completed fully operational product Next year, than to rush her voters into ESA before Election Day.
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