Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR’s) double track project in New York’s Suffolk County in the US has been completed more than a year ahead of schedule.
Doubling 13 miles of track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma is intended to reduce delays and congestion, helping facilitate reverse-peak service expansions. The segment carries 48,000 riders every weekday.
The project started in 2014 and also includes a new signal system, electrical substation modifications and new third rail electrical systems that will power the new track’s trains.
The project’s first phase completed in August 2016, covering the Ronkonkoma to Central Islip section.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “After 70 years of stagnation, we are investing $6.6bn in 100 projects to completely transform the LIRR and improve service, and the completion of the new double track demonstrates our commitment to delivering results.
“The LIRR is the lifeblood of the region’s economy and projects like the double track and third track will help support future growth and vastly improve riders’ experience on the busiest commuter rail in the country.”
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Alongside improving train reliability, the double track will enable the LIRR to immediately start providing substantial reverse peak services on the Ronkonkoma Line in the mornings and evenings for the first time.
As a result of the project completing ahead of schedule, the LIRR can use resources for other projects such as expansion and modernisation of East Side Access, the Main Line third track, and the Mid-Suffolk Train Storage Yard.
As part of the double track project, the LIRR constructed two new platforms at the Wyandanch Station that can accommodate 12-car trains. The platform includes a snowmelt system, a pedestrian overpass with elevators, new stairs, new canopies, and new platform shelters.