Tag Archives: Long Island Railroad

Cuomo unveils plan to expand Long Island Rail Road

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced a renewed effort to expand capacity on the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville by adding a third track.

The project, which calls for building an additional track along that portion of LIRR’s line, will allow the railroad to increase service, reduce congestion and train delays after incidents, and enable “reverse-peak” trains to run during traditional business hours, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials said in a press release.

The proposal also is aimed at providing a more attractive alternative to driving and thereby reducing road traffic on Long Island’s major east-west highways.

In addition, the expansion project will complement the East Side Access project, which is slated to double LIRR’s capacity into Manhattan by building a new terminal underneath Grand Central Terminal.

Cuomo’s plan reduces the length of the LIRR expansion in prior proposals from 11.5 miles to 9.8 miles to minimize impact on communities along the right of way, MTA officials said. Additionally, the number of property acquisitions would be reduced to 50, compared with 200 in prior proposals.

The LIRR will launch a community engagement program to ensure local input is heard and addressed, MTA officials said. The effort will include direct outreach to property owners adjacent to the track and broad outreach across all affected communities.

“A third track will enable us to provide a better experience for our customers with better on-time performance and fewer hassles from delayed trains,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski of Cuomo’s proposal. “And it will attract new customers to our environmentally friendly mode of transportation.”

Trust for Public Land to plan conversion of railroad track into Queens Highline

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Engineers, architects and planners are about to spend the next year figuring out whether 3 1/2 miles of abandoned railroad track can be transformed into Queens’ version of the High Line. In case you missed it, the old New York Central West Side Freight Line was “transformed” into the High Line.

The experts will perform engineering studies to test the deteriorating track beds, which have been abandoned for more than 50 years; they’ll meet with residents and merchants, and they’ll determine whether the massive project is workable as they develop plans.

Two city-based firms — WXY architecture + urban design and dlandstudio — edged out a field of more than two dozen applicants for the right to envision the park, which would run along the old Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach railroad tracks from Rego Park to Ozone Park.
It is 3 1/2 miles long and would become a biking and walking trail.
While it would involve the neighborhood and has a lot of local support, a lot of people think the rail line should be re-activated and provide better transportation to New York City.
The Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach Branch diverged from the LIRR’s Main Line in Rego Park at about 66th Avenue at what was called Whitepot Junction. It ran south through the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, across Jamaica Bay and through Broad Channel, and on to the Rockaway Peninsula, where one spur continued east and rejoined the LIRR in Far Rockaway, and the other went west and dead-ended at Beach 116th Street at the Rockaway Park station.
There was a plan to attach the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch line to the IND subway. However, the Depression forced the IND to shelve that plan…but not before installing signage in some of its stations pointing to a Rockaway connection that was never built!
Frequent fires on the wooden trestle crossing Jamaica Bay impelled the LIRR to close the old line. It was purchased by New York City, which rebuilt the tracks and began subway service to the Rockaways in 1956.
The northern end of the line above Liberty Avenue remained in service until 1962, when declining patronage convinced the LIRR to close it down.