All Aboard: Governor Hochul Celebrates Completion of LIRR Main Line Third Track on Time and Under Budget (2023)

October 3, 2022

Albany, NY



Economic Development


All Aboard: Governor Hochul Celebrates Completion of LIRR Main Line Third Track on Time and Under Budget

Third Track Between Floral Park and Hicksville Gives LIRR More Flexibility During Disruptions and Allows for Service Increases When Grand Central Madison Opens This Year

Third Track Project Completed on Schedule and $100 Million Below Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated completion of the Long Island Rail Road's historic Third Track project on time and under budget. The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville, giving the railroad more operational flexibility to minimize service disruptions and increase service by 41 percent systemwide when Grand Central Madison opens later this year, while improving safety and creating true bi-directional LIRR service to fuel the local economy.

"The completion of the historic Third Track project connects commuters with a more resilient and flexible railroad with frequent service, modern stations, ADA accessibility and more travel opportunities for Long Islanders and visitors," Governor Hochul said. "I applaud the MTA, local communities and the hard-working women and men of organized labor who worked together to deliver this transformative project on time and under budget."

(Video) LIRR Third Track

Construction of the Third Track is the centerpiece of the larger $2.5 billion Long Island Rail Road Main Line Expansion Project, which includes the renewal of five LIRR stations along the route (New Hyde Park, MerillonAvenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury), the elimination of eight at-grade railroad crossings, upgrades at seven railroad bridges, parking expansions, installation of new sound attenuation barriers, and landscaping improvements. With only minor station work left to complete, the project is heading toward the finish line $100 million under budget almost four years after breaking ground.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "This project is being delivered on time and $100 million under budget, thanks to design-build contracting and many other new and innovative project management strategies. It's especially incredible that this was all accomplished during a global pandemic and with no residential property takings. It shows that the MTA can deliver on its promise to bring megaprojects faster, better and cheaper. And this expansion will be a huge boon for Long Island businesses, since it will increase access to the region's talent pool by enabling not only a 40% overall increase in LIRR service, but a huge uptick in reverse peak train frequency. It's a win-win-win."

Long Island Rail Road Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said, "The completion of the LIRR Third Track gives the LIRR more flexibility to serve customers on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson/Huntington and Oyster Bay branches. When combined with the new terminal at Grand Central Madison and the newly renovated LIRR concourse at Penn Station, LIRR customers will have more frequent service, upgraded stations with a host of modern amenities, and easier reverse peak trips."

MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said, "Third Track will set the standard for MTA C&D projects moving forward. This project delivered on the promise of design-build, completing on time and under budget and using innovative methods to do so. The project minimized disruption to nearby communities, kept neighbors engaged and informed during the entire process, and maintained service with hundreds of trains running daily through our 10-mile-long work zone."

I applaud the MTA, local communities and the hard-working women and men of organized labor who worked together to deliver this transformative project on time and under budget.

Governor Kathy Hochul

The newly built Third Track is physically the southernmost track on the roadbed and will carry eastbound service. It opened in three sections, with the first leg opening August 15 through New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue and the second stretch to Mineola on August 30. Critically, construction was completed without the need for residential real estate property acquisitions and with an unprecedented amount of community input. This allowed the project team to create neighbor-friendly work zones using innovative methods and practices, such as:

  • Frequent, regular meetings between the MTA and local elected officials, civic leaders, business owners and residents to discuss the project
  • Workers avoided clogging local streets
  • Constant advance informational outreach to keep local residents, authorities and first responders informed of any traffic disruptions
  • Scheduling construction deliveries in off-peak hours and monitoring noise, vibration and air quality on a regular basis
  • Ensuring that residents would not be impeded when trying to access local businesses
  • Door to door outreach and regular updates to the project website

The LIRR Main Line Expansion Project is part of an unprecedented $17.7 billion investment to transform and modernize the Long Island Rail Road. That money is funding more than 100 projects, including the opening of service to Grand Central Madison, construction of a more spacious LIRR Concourse at Penn Station and a new entrance at 33rd Street, renewal and upgrading of 36 stations and 17 bridges, activation of the Positive Train Control safety system, installation of 13 miles of second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, upgrades to 15 electrical substations, parking capacity increases, yard expansions, and more. Additionally, the MTA, together with NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, plans to seek federal funding to rebuild Penn Station into a world-class, single-level terminal.

Suffolk County County Executive Steve Bellone said, "The success of the LIRR is key to the success of our region. With monumental investments in the LIRR in recent years, this year will go down as one of the most significant in Long Island history with the completion of the third track project. Third Track modernizes our transportation infrastructure on Long Island, and I want to thank Governor Hochul for once again delivering for our residents and commuters."

Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro said, "The completion and placement in service of the third track is a significant milestone on Mainline Third Track Project. As an early supporter of the project, it is gratifying to see the significant improvements that were promised coming to fruition. The impact on the commuting public should be meaningful and the project, when completed, will enhance and modernize the rail service to what our region deserves. The elimination of the at-grade crossings, as well as the other local improvements, will have a tremendous impact on the local communities along the mainline and in the region. These are the kinds of transformative infrastructure improvements that our residents expect from government and our tax dollars."

All Aboard: Governor Hochul Celebrates Completion of LIRR Main Line Third Track on Time and Under Budget (1)

GO-505 General Chairman for SMART Transportation Division Anthony Simon said, "Thanks to the leadership and support from Governor Hochul, the third track is one of LIRR largest infrastructure projects coming in on time and under budget. This project will be a tremendous boost for LIRR commuters and the economy and will help to fuel local businesses. This will provide Long Islanders more reliable and frequent service."

Association for a Better Long Island Executive Director Kyle Strober said, "One cannot overstate the transformative impact this milestone will have on every facet of our vital mass transit connection to New York City. One hopes that future generations of LIRR riders will appreciate that their commute was made that much faster, easier, and efficient because of the men and women who worked on this project and the efforts of visionary public servants who saw it through to completion."

Long Island Federation of Labor AFL-CIO President John R. Durso said, "The last several years we have witnessed massive disruption around the world and across this country. Thanks to the steady leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, the skilled union workforce on Long Island, and cooperation across communities we stand here today with the 3rd track project delivered on time and under budget. It's completion has long been key to unlocking the economic potential of our region. It will yield a brighter future for generations to come, as well as increased and more reliable service for the workers of today. This is a big deal for businesses and workers alike."

Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, "I applaud the efforts of Governor Kathy Hochul for seeing this project through to the end, and extend my thanks along with 65,000 skilled tradeswomen and tradesmen for her valuable leadership. Building a project of this magnitude was no small feat and without the full commitment and partnership of Governor Hochul, MTA CEO JannoLeiber, and the Building Trades Council we would not be standing here today. The completion of Third Track demonstrates the enormous value of investing in local union labor while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of transportation."

Long Island Association President & CEO Matt Cohen said,“The LIRR Third Track is a landmark infrastructure project that has already resulted in significant economic benefits through its construction and will now accelerate economic growth and transform how Long Islanders and reverse commuters live and work. I thank Governor Hochul, MTA Chair and CEO Lieber, LIRR Interim President Rinaldi and all involved in seeing it to the finish line.”

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Home Health Aide Robin Allen said, "I live in Queens and have been a home health aide for the past 8 years. My client is an 86-year-old woman in Long Island. She relies on me to prepare her meals and take her to her doctor's appointments. Before the third rail was in place, I used to have to get up at 5am to make my long commute. But now it takes me less than an hour to reach her on the LIRR, which has made a big difference in my life."

(Video) MTA News Conference - 3/8/2022

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640



Bengali Translation

বাংলা অনুবাদ


Chinese Translation



(Video) Environmental Conservation - 2022 New York State Budget (Part 2)

French Translation

Traduction en français


Haitian-Creole Translation

Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen


Italian Translation

Traduzione italiana


Polish Translation

Polskie tłumaczenie


Russian Translation

Перевод на русский язык


Spanish Translation

Traducción al español


Urdu Translation

پیلے رنگ سے نمایاں کردہ ٹیکسٹ


Yiddish Translation

(Video) VOO Work Session 1.12.2022

אידישע איבערטייטשונג



How many lines does the LIRR have? ›

The LIRR has 12 Train lines in New York - New Jersey with 124 Train stations. Their Train lines cover an area from the North (Greenport, Ny) with a stop at Greenport to the South (Long Beach, Ny) with a stop at Long Beach.

Who owns LIRR? ›

The Long Island Rail Road is a railroad owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the U.S. state of New York. It is the oldest United States railroad still operating under its original name and charter. It consolidated several other companies in the late 19th century.

What powers LIRR trains? ›

The Long Island Rail Road owns an electric fleet of 132 M9, 836 M7, and 170 M3 electric multiple unit cars, and a diesel and diesel-electric fleet consisting of 134 C3 bilevel rail cars powered by 24 DE30AC diesel-electric locomotives and 20 DM30AC dual-mode locomotives.

Does LIRR run all night? ›

With an average weekday ridership of 354,800 passengers in 2016, it is the busiest commuter railroad in North America. It is also one of the world's few commuter systems that runs 24/7 year-round. It is publicly owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which refers to it as MTA Long Island Rail Road.

What is the busiest LIRR station? ›

Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan is the actual westernmost station of the Long Island Rail Road and its busiest station.

Can you drink alcohol on LIRR? ›

Both the Metro North, which operates several routes running from Grand Central Station to upstate N.Y. and nearby Connecticut, and the LIRR, which stretches from Penn Station to as far east as Montauk on the tip of Long Island, discourage drinking on the trains.

How much money does a LIRR conductor make? ›

LIRR salaries over $100,000 a year
NamePositionBase Rate
Poio, MarcConductor$75,390
Woodhouse, Michael RTrain Dispatcher$94,582
Kutsch, Robert CConductor$75,390
Nugent, John EForeman-Surfacing$85,055
118 more rows

Who owns the biggest railroad company? ›

Largest Rail Companies Research Summary

The largest rail company in the world is Deutsche Bahn, with a revenue of $47.72 billion. As of 2021, the global rail industry has a market size of $295.80 billion.

How many train cars are on an LIRR train? ›

LIRR trains can be up to 12 cars in length, but normally run half that.

Can train conductors use their phones? ›

A railroad operating employee shall not use an electronic device if that use would interfere with the employee's or another railroad operating employee's performance of safety-related duties.

Is eating on LIRR allowed? ›

You are allowed to eat and drink on LIRR trains..just take the trash back off as you leave the train, and place it in the trash recepticles located on the station platforms...have I been brainwashed or what??? As long as you take your trash with you, they don't care.

Is LIRR faster than subway? ›

Long Island Rail Road is a commuter rail service that goes into New York City, and it is faster than the subway. It's more expensive than the subway, and the cost of a train ticket depends on which station you are going to.

Do conductors sleep on trains? ›

Nowhere. In the United States, train conductors are not provided sleeping accommodations because they have to stay awake throughout their work period. Sleeping on the job is a fireable offense. On American passenger trains, there are two types of crews.

How many hours do LIRR conductors work? ›

Train conductor salary

Train conductors often work 40 hours a week. Both cargo and passenger trains run at all hours, requiring evening, night, weekend and holiday shifts.

Are there quiet cars on the LIRR? ›

The LIRR's Quiet Car program includes all peak single-level electric trains that operate to/from Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal during the rush hours. Remember: the westernmost car on designated trains is the Quiet Car. During the AM Peak, the FIRST CAR of your train is a Quiet Car.

What is the busiest railroad in the world? ›

Shinjuku Station - The World's Busiest Train Station

With over 3.6 million people passing through the station daily, Shinjuku Station in the city of Tokyo, Japan, is the busiest train station in the world by passenger use. The station is the main hub for trains connecting special wards and Western Tokyo.

What is the largest train station in the US? ›

Grand Central Terminal, New York, US

According to some sources, New York's Grand Central Terminal is the world's largest station in terms of platform capacity.

What is the busiest train line? ›

With an average of 3.5 million passing through its doors every day, Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan, is the world's busiest train station in terms of passenger throughput.

Do police officers ride LIRR free? ›

JUSTIFICATION: For the increased protection and improved safety of commuters and employees, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) currently administers a program that provides free transportation on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) for certain police officers.

Is there a toilet on the LIRR? ›

Eight new M9 cars made their first scheduled run yesterday as the 6:50 a.m. train from Huntington, Long Island due into the Hunterspoint Avenue station in Long Island City at 7:49 a.m. The cars feature slightly wider seats, no-touch flushing toilets in the bathrooms and other amenities, according to LIRR President ...

Can you smoke on the LIRR? ›

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority banned smoking yesterday on all Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Commuter Railroad trains. The ban, which is to start Feb. 15, will affect 272,000 daily riders on the L.I.R.R.

What's the top pay for a train conductor? ›

The salaries of Train Conductors in the US range from $13,808 to $373,999 , with a median salary of $66,833 .

How much do lineman make on Long Island? ›

The average Lineman salary in Nassau, NY is $97,541 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $91,558 and $102,198. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

How much does a LIRR track worker make? ›

Average Metropolitan Transportation Authority Track Worker yearly pay in the United States is approximately $130,000, which is 117% above the national average.

What is the richest railroad in America? ›

1. BNSF Railway – $23.3 Billion Revenue.

What railroad Does Bill Gates Own? ›

Bill Gates sold about $940 million of Canadian National Railway Co. shares, trimming one of the largest holdings of the investment firm that controls his $117 billion personal fortune.

What is the oldest operating railroad in the United States? ›

1832: The Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania is founded. It is still in business and is the oldest continuously operated railroad in the country.

How many cars can 1 locomotive pull? ›

Re: How many cars can a loco pull? The two important questions are how fast do you want them to run and how steep is the grade. One unit can easily pull 100 cars on the flat if you only want it to go 10-12 mph. Put it on a 2% grade and a 3000 hp unit can only pull about 6-8 cars at about 15 mph.

How does LIRR know how many people are on train? ›

The function works by utilizing sensors that can determine how many passengers are on board a train at any given moment. LIRR says it then securely transmits and processes all this encrypted data in the cloud, and seamlessly provides it back out to customers in a useful form in real time.

How many cars are in a locomotive? ›

Once the train is rolling, an engine with 110,000 lb tractive effort should be able to maintain 11-12 mph with at least 200 cars-- maybe 300 or more.

Can train drivers see you? ›

Trains have headlights, similar to a car, to help the driver see at night. The train headlights are a little different however in that they don't typically provide a lot of light to the driver. As a train driver cannot stop or swerve to prevent an accident, there is no need to show the driver approaching hazards.

Are train conductors stressful? ›

Railroad life

The job is stressful and intense. On call 24/7, so there's no work life balance. Management is always out to fire you and look for you to break rules. The job can be easy and also stressful at times.

Are cameras on trains monitored? ›

CCTV images are also recorded along the platform edge at all stations on the Elizabeth Line, including at those stations managed by other train operators. If you require access to images of yourself recorded by a CCTV camera installed on Elizabeth Line infrastructure, you should contact the concession holder.

Can you legally drink on a train? ›

On most trains in England and Wales, drinking alcohol is allowed. However, train operators may opt to run "dry" trains, meaning passengers cannot bring alcohol on board nor consume it.

Can I drink coffee on LIRR? ›

I'm sorry to say there's no food or drink sold on LIRR trains, either on the diesel or the elecrtric trains. You can bring food and drink on the train, but alcohol (outside the requisite brown bag) is not permitted. There is a toilet in every car.

Can you take a shower on a train? ›

Only sleeper car passengers have access to the showers. They are located in the sleeper cars on the lower level in Superliner train cars on down the hall on the Viewliner train cars. Amtrak provides a few items for you and the room attendant keeps the shower clean.

What does J mean on LIRR schedule? ›

(j) Terminals and stations means Jamaica station, Flatbush Avenue station, that portion of Pennsylvania station which is utilized or occupied by the LIRR, as well as all terminals and stations owned or operated by the LIRR, under contract, lease or other arrangement, including joint service arrangements, and including ...

What is the fastest train in NYC? ›

The fastest portion of the NYC Subway system is the N/R/W trains through the 59th Street Tunnel under the East River (between Lexington Avenue/59th Street and Queensboro Plaza or Queens Plaza). Trains regularly exceed 50 mph in the tunnel and sometimes even exceed 55 (the speed limit in the subway system).

Is LIRR faster than subway? ›

Long Island Rail Road is a commuter rail service that goes into New York City, and it is faster than the subway. It's more expensive than the subway, and the cost of a train ticket depends on which station you are going to.

How many lines does MTA have? ›

Of the system's 28 routes or "services" (which usually share track or "lines" with other services), 25 pass through Manhattan, the exceptions being the G train, the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, and the Rockaway Park Shuttle.

How many MTA lines are there? ›

There are currently 36 rail lines. The Archer Avenue Lines and the 63rd Street Lines are each classified as two separate lines due to their structure: both lines are able to serve two divisions (the BMT and the IND) on distinct sections of track.

Why does LIRR use third rail? ›

The third track is part of the LIRR Main Line Expansion Project, which will allow express trains to glide right through the congestion that builds in Nassau County.

What does J mean on LIRR schedule? ›

(j) Terminals and stations means Jamaica station, Flatbush Avenue station, that portion of Pennsylvania station which is utilized or occupied by the LIRR, as well as all terminals and stations owned or operated by the LIRR, under contract, lease or other arrangement, including joint service arrangements, and including ...

What is the fastest train in NYC? ›

The fastest portion of the NYC Subway system is the N/R/W trains through the 59th Street Tunnel under the East River (between Lexington Avenue/59th Street and Queensboro Plaza or Queens Plaza). Trains regularly exceed 50 mph in the tunnel and sometimes even exceed 55 (the speed limit in the subway system).

What is the most popular MTA train? ›

Top 10 busiest bus routes in 2020
1M15 Local/SBS8,125,584
2Bx12 Local/SBS7,905,359
3B46 Local/SBS7,539,419
6 more rows

What is the deepest MTA station? ›

Nicholas Avenue and 191st Street in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, it is served by the 1 train at all times. It is the deepest station in the New York City Subway system at about 173 feet (53 m) below street level.
191st Street station.
191 Street
Depth173 feet (53 m)
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
25 more rows

Which letter was never used for an NYC subway line? ›

The letters I and O were never used for trains because of their visual similarities to the numbers 0 and 1 and the use of both alphabetical and numerical designations in the New York Subway system.

What is the shortest train line in NYC? ›

The shortest line is: S. This Subway line begins from Times Sq-42 St (Manhattan) and finishes at Grand Central-42 St (Manhattan). It runs through 1 km with 2 stops. According to Moovit Insights, the most popular lines for MTA Subway are F, 3, 4, 1, R.

What is the busiest subway station in NYC? ›

Times Square-42 Street

What is the shortest MTA line? ›

THE world's smallest metro system is the 3.8 km long Metropolitana di Catania situated on the Italian island of Sicily which consists of just one line and six stations.

What is the longest train line in NYC? ›

Opened in 1932, the A-train is the longest route in the New York City Subway System. At a whopping 31 miles, the A-train stretches all the way from Inwood in northern Manhattan to the Rockaways and Richmond Hill in southeastern Queens.

Will you get electrocuted if you touch the third rail? ›

This third rail, used to power trains, usually results in the death by electrocution of anyone who comes into direct contact with it.

Is third rail better than overhead? ›

As a solid composite rail running along the track, a third rail is more rugged than an overhead contact wire and has a longer life expectancy.

Is the third rail always live? ›

Overhead lines are much more dangerous and carry 25,000 volts – that's 100 times greater than the power supply in your home. The third rail and overhead lines have electricity running through them at all times, not just when trains are passing, and nothing will protect you from the current.


1. MTA Board - MNR/LIRR Committee Meeting - 04/25/2022
2. Joint Public Hearing: To review the finances and projections of the MTA
3. 11 4 2021 Budget Meeting (PART 1) (Part 1)
(Village of Ossining)
4. Update on the Penn Station Revitalization Plan
5. MTA Board Meeting - 4/27/2022
6. Transportation - 2022 New York State Budget Public Hearing
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

Views: 5987

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.