LIRR to Test Upgraded Signal System, Perform Port Washington Branch Positive Train Control Tests and Advance Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track Project

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LIRR to Test Upgraded Signal System, Perform Port Washington Branch Positive Train Control Tests and Advance Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track Project
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 1:02 AM

March 24-25: LIRR to Test Upgraded Signal System, Perform Port Washington Branch Positive Train Control Tests and Advance Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track Project

Significant Service Changes Planned for Port Jefferson Branch, Port Washington Branch and Ronkonkoma Branch; Customers of All LIRR Branches Should Check Special Timetables
 
Long Island Rail Road crews will perform testing on a new signal system this weekend, March 24-25, at Harold Interlocking, an important step furthering progress on the East Side Access project that will connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal.
 
At the same time, LIRR crews will perform critical tests needed for Positive Train Control (PTC) between Woodside and Bayside on the Port Washington Branch. Positive Train Control is a major safety enhancement for the LIRR that is designed to eliminate the potential for human error to contribute to a number of types of derailments and train-to-train collisions.
 
LIRR crews will also advance the Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track project during this same timeframe by installing structural steel at the Wyandanch overpass/elevator tower, testing signals, performing track work, and removing an old signal gantry that is being retired.
 
The new signal system at Harold Interlocking will ensure smooth and improved train service through the interlocking, an integral piece of infrastructure containing numerous switches that route trains across the tracks that lead to Penn Station. The new system is based on microprocessor technology, which has built-in redundancies and replaces an older hard-wired relay-based signal system.
 
“The signal work taking place this weekend will help modernize our signal system at Harold Interlocking and bring it into a state of good repair, which will improve reliability and flexibility,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “Even more importantly, this coming weekend’s work is a big step toward making the entire LIRR fundamentally safer via Positive Train Control.”
 
To allow for the East Side Access, Positive Train Control and Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track projects, from 10 p.m. Friday night, March 23, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 26, some LIRR train departure times may be altered, and train service on some branches will be adjusted. The LIRR urges customers to view special timetables found at http://web.mta.info/lirr/Timetable/ for a complete listing of train schedules for this weekend.
 
The Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track Project will improve service and reliability on the branch by adding a second track to the busy 18-mile stretch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale, which now has only one track available to both directions of train traffic. Currently, when an issue arises with a train, this disrupts all other east and westbound trains because there is no way to circumnavigate the stalled train.
 
The Port Jefferson Branch, Port Washington Branch, and Ronkonkoma Branch will experience the most notable service changes. Details are below:
 
Port Jefferson Branch
Electric train service to and from Huntington will operate hourly, instead of every 30 minutes. Trains will make all local stops between New Hyde Park and Huntington. Diesel trains between Huntington and Port Jefferson will operate every two hours instead of every 90 minutes.
 
A special Port Jefferson Branch timetable is available at this link.
 
Port Washington Branch
Port Washington Branch trains will operate every hour instead of every 30 minutes.
 
A special Port Washington Branch timetable is available at this link.
 
Ronkonkoma Branch
Customers looking to travel from all stations from Ronkonkoma through Bethpage will board buses that will be timed to travel to Hicksville for connecting train service. Buses will depart 45 minutes earlier than normal train schedules.
 
Eastbound customers for these stations will able to take trains as far as Hicksville, where they will connect with bus service serving Bethpage through Ronkonkoma. Eastbound customers should expect up to 45 minutes of additional travel time.
 
Train service at all stations from Greenport through Medford will operate normally, but connecting service at Ronkonkoma will be different from the norm.
 
Westbound customers detraining at Ronkonkoma will connect with buses that will travel to Hicksville for a connection with continuing train service. Customers will arrive at New York City terminals one hour later than normal.
 
Eastbound customers for these stations should board trains one hour earlier than normal, then connect at Hicksville for bus service to Ronkonkoma, where buses will meet regularly scheduled diesel service at Ronkonkoma.
 
A special Ronkonkoma Branch timetable is available at this link.
 
All Other Branches
Train arrival or departure times for specific trains on all other LIRR branches may change by up to seven minutes. The LIRR encourages customers to check special timetables and/or the LIRR Train Time app for details before setting out for travel.
 
Special timetables are available at these links:
 
  • Member since
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 3:35 AM

Will these changes mean less delay  for BOS Amtrak trains ?  As well can this improve ferry moves to / from Sunnyside (SSY) ?  Improved ferry moves might mean NJT and Amtrak can schedule arrivals at NYP closer to departure time freeing up track space at NYP ? 

After thought as well LIRR ferry moves ?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 24, 2018 10:34 AM

I believe most if not all these changes affect traffic out on the Island, on the other side of the Sound from the Shore Line NEC.  There might be some small effect on Sunnyside turnaround, but little aside from that on traffic to the west.

i do not know yet if any of it will affect the pending GCT Batcave operations.

I think there is little question that good CBTC would shorten turnaround at NYP/Moynihan, perhaps dramatically; same for operations through the river tunnels.  Whether parts of the prospective LIRR improvements will facilitate that will be seen.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, March 24, 2018 9:03 PM

The first line of the original post gets cut off at Har...   I beleive they are talking about Harold Interlocking which handles NEC trains, as well as LIRR, and is said to be the busiest interlocking in the US.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 24, 2018 11:09 PM

I can only read a small part of the post and missed the discussion of Harold (which I think of far more as a part of the NEC than LIRR).  That area has received extensive constant-tension catenary work and yes, I'd expect improvements to reduce NEC trip times involving that section.

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