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Long Island Senators Push For New LIRR Track

Submitted by Elizabeth Mooney on Thu, 2012-02-02 14:42.

A trio of State Senators has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to prioritize construction of a second Long Island Rail Road track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.

MTA CEO Joe Lhota says adding the new track  is the singlemost important step to improve LIRR  service.MTA CEO Joe Lhota says adding the new track is the singlemost important step to improve LIRR service.The new line is a critical component of the proposed Republic Airport/Route 110 Corridor Hub project, which would help create additional jobs and economic development for the region, said Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. of Merrick. In his presentation at a budget hearing this week, Fuschillo was joined by Senators Owen Johnson of West Babylon and Lee Zeldin of Shirley.

The main line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, which spans 17.9 miles, currently has 5.3 miles of double track, including at most stations. Several years ago, the MTA proposed adding a double track to the remaining 12.6 miles of single, electrified track along the main line.

Adding this new double track would greatly benefit commuters on the Ronkonkoma line by improving service reliability, increasing on-time performance, and enabling faster recovery following service disruptions. The Ronkonkoma line is one of the LIRRs most crowded lines, with the highest number of customers per train on peak trains, reverse-peak trains, and weekends.

Joseph Lhota, the new MTA chairman, said recently he believes the second line is the "single most important thing" the agency can do to improve the LIRR. However,  budget constraints have forced the transit agency to plan for the project to start in 2015, at the earliest.


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