LIRR Third Main Track Second Section Opens

Written by Railway Age Staff
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New York MTA photo

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Aug. 29 announced the opening of the 2.5-mile second section of the Long Island Rail Road’s new Main Line third track between the Merillon Avenue and Mineola stations.

“Just two weeks after opening the first section of the Third Track, we’re celebrating the next step in the MTA’s historic, multi-billion-dollar investment into the Long Island Rail Road,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Third Track, along with Grand Central Madison opening later this year, will allow the LIRR to increase its service by 40%, boosting Long Island’s economy for generations to come.” 

“We’ve been able to deliver this project on time and under budget while continuing to run service for Long Islanders returning to public transit,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “Third Track will be a model going forward for how the MTA can deliver benefits for our customers better, faster, and cheaper.” 

In addition to the additional track, the project included Mineola area elements, such as elimination of the Willis Avenue and Main Street grade crossings, completion of the Mineola Harrison garage and replacement of the Mineola substation and motor generator.   

MTA noted that the LIRR Main Line Expansion Project is a major part of an unprecedented multi-billion-dollar investment in 100 projects to transform and modernize the Long Island Rail Road that also includes the opening of service to Grand Central Madison this year, construction of a more spacious Penn Station LIRR Concourse and a new entrance at 33rd Street, renewal and upgrading of 36 stations and 17 bridges, elimination of eight at-grade railroad crossings, activation of the Positive Train Control safety system, the addition of 13 miles of second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, upgrades to 15 electrical substations, parking capacity increases, yard expansions and more.

The first section of the LIRR’s Main Line Third Track opened on Aug. 15 when New York Gov. Kathy Hochul joined members of MTA leadership for a ceremonial ride along the 3-mile stretch of track between Floral Park and Merillon Avenue stations, disembarking at the upgraded New Hyde Park Station. 

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