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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Workers inspect the “shock tubes” that set off blasting caps, which detonate the charges. More than 2,400 blasts have been conducted on the project.

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The biggest public transit infrastructure effort in the US is almost completely invisible — unless you’re 160 feet underground. The East Side Access project will connect the Long Island Railroad to New York’s Grand Central Terminal via a massive tunnel under the East River. Actually, that tunnel was the easy part; it was started in 1969. The hard part? “We are building a brand-new railroad here,” says Michael Horodniceanu, president of Metropolitan Transit Authority Capital Construction. When it’s finished in 2019, around 160,000 people will see shorter commutes. But before that, engineers must complete three tricky segments. Here’s how (and where) they’ll do it.

1. Grand Central Terminal

“We are a stealth project when we land in Manhattan,” Horodniceanu says. “No one really knows we are here.” His crews are carving out a terminal beneath Grand Central (above), where twin caverns 1,050 feet long will have eight separate platforms.

2. Northern Boulevard Crossing

To keep the soft ground from collapsing, engineers snaked coils of coolant through the soil to form a protective arch of frozen earth. That let crews work safely while traffic rumbled overhead. Cost: $1 million per foot.

3. The Harold Interlocking

The busiest rail junction in the nation can’t stop for construction. As trains lumber through, crews have been boring the main tunnel below, rerouting and fixing cable and wire as they go. Work there, Horodniceanu says, “is like a dance.”

All photos: Dean Kaufman

Illustration: Brown Bird

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Workers inspect the “shock tubes” that set off blasting caps, which detonate the charges. More than 2,400 blasts have been conducted on the project.  
  Photo: Dean Kaufman

>[/url]
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The biggest public transit infrastructure effort in the US is almost completely invisible — unless you’re 160 feet underground. The East Side Access project will connect the Long Island Railroad to New York’s Grand Central Terminal via a massive tunnel under the East River. Actually, that tunnel was the easy part; it was started in 1969. The hard part? “We are building a brand-new railroad here,” says Michael Horodniceanu, president of Metropolitan Transit Authority Capital Construction. When it’s finished in 2019, around 160,000 people will see shorter commutes. But before that, engineers must complete three tricky segments. Here’s how (and where) they’ll do it.

1. Grand Central Terminal

“We are a stealth project when we land in Manhattan,” Horodniceanu says. “No one really knows we are here.” His crews are carving out a terminal beneath Grand Central (above), where twin caverns 1,050 feet long will have eight separate platforms.

2. Northern Boulevard Crossing

To keep the soft ground from collapsing, engineers snaked coils of coolant through the soil to form a protective arch of frozen earth. That let crews work safely while traffic rumbled overhead. Cost: $1 million per foot.

3. The Harold Interlocking

The busiest rail junction in the nation can’t stop for construction. As trains lumber through, crews have been boring the main tunnel below, rerouting and fixing cable and wire as they go. Work there, Horodniceanu says, “is like a dance.”

Illustration: Brown Bird Design

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) opened an information center at Port Washington Station to detail the benefits of the LIRR's proposed track extensions at its Port Washington Train Yard.

The information center will have public hours this week and will move on to nearby Plandome Station next Monday and Manhasset Station next Tuesday.

The LIRR's proposal to build track extensions at the existing Port Washington yard is expected to immediately improve train service for Port Washington Branch customers and also provide more service to the East Side of Manhattan at Grand Central Terminal once the East Side Access project is completed.

The track extensions will allow two additional trains to be stored at the Port Washington Station, paving the way for additional express service and improved service to Citi Field and U.S. Open events, both served by the Port Washington Branch.

Once the East Side Access project is complete, the LIRR estimates that approximately 45 percent of its Port Washington Branch customers will opt for trains heading to Grand Central with commuting time cut by up to 40 minutes a day. In order to offer the additional service to Grand Central, the LIRR requires more space to position extra trains at the existing Port Washington yard so they can be ready for the morning rush.

The Port Washington, Plandome and Manhasset stations pose special challenges because they are served by a single track over the Manhasset viaduct. This makes it especially important to be able to position trains at the existing Port Washington yard to be ready for morning service.

The information centers at stations are positioned to fully explain the options and seek community input. The two options are:

Option A: Extension of Yard Tracks 1 & 8:

This option would be possible if the LIRR could purchase a 7,900 square foot parcel of land now part of the East Parking Lot and currently owned by the Town of North Hempstead. The town's lot, with restriping, would not lose any parking spots. Under this option, there would be a net loss of approximately 40 parking spaces on the LIRR's lot on the Haven Avenue side of the station.

Option B: Extension of Track 1 and Creation of Track 0:

Under this option, the LIRR would confine the new track to its own property, but would have to reclaim its own land it currently leases to the Town for commuter parking along Haven Avenue at a loss of approximately 140 parking spaces.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The New York State Senate has confirmed Thomas Prendergast as chairman and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

Prendergast has served as MTA's interim executive director since Jan. 1. He succeeds Joseph Lhota.

"As interim executive director, Tom was vital to the recovery of the MTA after Superstorm Sandy and he will continue to play a crucial role in making the MTA more modern, efficient and storm ready," Cuomo said in a prepared statement.

Prendergast served for more than three years as president of MTA New York City Transit and six years as president of MTA Long Island Rail Road.

Prendergast's "extensive professional experience, both within the MTA and in other public and private sector transportation positions, will serve him well as he addresses the numerous issues and challenges facing the MTA," said State Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr., who chairs the Senate's Transportation Committee.

A native of Chicago, Prendergast began his career at the Chicago Transit Authority in 1975. He later joined the U.S. Department of Transportation, then moved to the New York City Transit Authority in 1982. He also at one time worked for TransLink.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) crews will spend 30 days this summer building heavy concrete slabs that will serve as the ceiling of a new underpass at the Harold Interlocking switching complex in Sunnyside, Queens, as part of the East Side Access "mega-project."

The underpass is designed to create a congestion-free bypass for Amtrak trains approaching Penn Station from Boston, LIRR officials said in a press release.

To accommodate the work, LIRR will cancel five rush-hour trains each day from July 22 to Aug. 16. The trains' stops will be added to other trains that'll depart within five to 15 minutes of canceled trains' departure times. Four other trains will operate shortened runs.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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For the second straight year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will use state-supported funds to improve service and provide customer enhancements for the New York metropolitan area transportation system, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

MTA’s updated financial plan includes new services on subway and commuter-rail lines and bus systems. The authority also plans to make investments aimed at providing a better station environment, improved communication and an "enhanced customer experience" via technology, Cuomo said.

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) will spend $7.9 million annually on the new bus and subway services, as well as $5.9 million to enhance the customer environment with additional track and station cleaning, more controllers to manage service on numbered subway lines, better turnstile layouts and more security cameras.

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will invest $2.6 million in five new weekday trains, half-hourly weekend service to Ronkonkoma and Port Washington, and weekend service to Greenport for an additional 10 weeks.

Meanwhile, MTA Metro-North Railroad will invest $1.7 million per year to add real-time customer information displays at all of its stations in New York State by 2020.

MTA's updated financial plan also includes an additional $11.5 million for NYCT and LIRR to adjust service, largely to the frequency of service on existing routes where necessary to meet agency service guidelines for customer loading and waiting.

The revised financial plan also includes $11 million in enhancements to the customer experience at stations and in new technology "to make it easier for customers to plan and manage their travel," according to the press release.

The service initiatives are included in MTA’s mid-year revision of its four-year financial plan, which reflects adjustments to its revenues and expenses; most of the service investments and customer enhancements will be phased in during the next 12 months.

MTA's board, which is scheduled to discuss the investments at its regularly scheduled committee meetings today, will vote on next year’s final financial plan in December.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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on July 23, 2013 in North America For decades, the most awkward bottleneck in rail terms in New York’s Queens has been a junction with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) that badly complicates Amtrak’s approach from Boston to Penn station in Manhattan. In the course of the next two months, a flyover is to be built at the Harold interlocking complex in Sunnyside, Queens, as part of the “East Side access megaproject.” To accommodate the work, LIRR will cancel five rush-hour trains each day from 22 July to 16 August. - See more at: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/blog/2013/07/ambitious-reconstruction-in-queens/#sthash.xVrY1l3A.dpuf

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Today, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) will begin 14 months of "Fix & Fortify" work on the "R" Montague Tubes to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The repairs are part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) most extensive and wide-ranging reconstruction effort in its history after the October 2012 storm decimated New York City's subway system, NYCT officials said in a press release.

Fix & Fortify is designed to restore and rebuild damaged infrastructure while reducing the subway system's vulnerability to potential damage from future storms, they said.

In total, MTA has allocated nearly $3.8 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for "repair, resiliency and disaster relief" for NYCT, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and other MTA divisions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has allocated $3 million for MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

"This vital work on the Montague Tubes is necessary to make permanent repairs to the tunnel and ensure safe and reliable service for thousands of daily commuters between Brooklyn and Manhattan," FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said in a prepared statement.

The Montague Tubes work — estimated to cost $308.6 million — amounts to a near rebuilding of the link that connects downtown Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan, NYCT officials said. The work will be completed under two contracts: one to repair all right-of-way components except signals and one to repair signal equipment.

Work under both contracts will occur while the tube is shut down for 14 months.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it has awarded the first of three contracts to fabricate and construct the permanent structural concrete lining, interior structures, and fit-out for caverns and tunnels excavated underneath Grand Central Terminal for the East Side Access project.

The contract, valued at $200,602,743 was awarded to the Michels Corporation, for work that will take place in the caverns and tunnels in the south segment of the future LIRR terminal below Grand Central. Procurement for the remaining two contracts for the north and central locations will follow. The contract is being paid for by federal and local funds.

“We’re pleased to be entering this phase of construction for East Side Access in Manhattan.  This contract begins the construction on the interior work that 160,000 weekday LIRR customers will experience when the new LIRR station terminal opens below Grand Central,” said Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction.

The East Side Access project will bring the Long Island Rail Road into a new LIRR terminal below Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The new connection will increase the LIRR’s capacity into Manhattan, and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens commuters traveling to the east side of Manhattan. Each cavern will contain four tracks, an upper and lower level platform, and a mezzanine.
Source MTA press office

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded the first of three contracts to fabricate and build permanent structural concrete lining, interior structures and fit-out caverns and tunnels excavated beneath Grand Central Terminal in New York City for the East Side Access project.

The $200 million contract was awarded to Michels Corp. for work that will occur in the caverns and tunnels in the south segment of the future MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) terminal below Grand Central, MTA officials said in a press release.

The contract is being paid for with federal and local funds.

"This contract begins the construction on the interior work that 160,000 weekday LIRR customers will experience when the new LIRR station terminal opens below Grand Central," said Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction.

The East Side Access project will connect LIRR's Main and Port Washington lines in Queens to a new terminal beneath Grand Central. The new connection is designed to increase LIRR's capacity into Manhattan and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens commuters. Each cavern will contain four tracks, an upper and lower level platform and a mezzanine, MTA officials said.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded the first of three contracts to fabricate and construct the permanent structural concrete lining, interior structures, and fit-out for caverns and tunnels excavated underneath Grand Central Terminal for the East Side Access project.

The contract, valued at more than $200,000, was awarded to Michels Corp. for work that will take place in the caverns and tunnels in the south segment of the future Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) terminal below Grand Central. Procurement for the remaining two contracts for the north and central locations will follow. The contract is being paid for by federal and local funds.

“We’re pleased to be entering this phase of construction for East Side Access in Manhattan. This contract begins the construction on the interior work that 160,000 weekday LIRR customers will experience when the new LIRR station terminal opens below Grand Central,” said Michael Horodniceanu, MTA’s president, capital construction.

The East Side Access project will bring the LIRR into a new terminal below Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The new connection will increase the LIRR’s capacity into Manhattan and dramatically shorten travel time for Long Island and eastern Queens commuters traveling to the east side of Manhattan. Each cavern will contain four tracks, an upper and lower level platform, and a mezzanine.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The next segment of a $40 million facelift of the Massapequa Station gets underway today, as the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) continues the work it began in the spring on a two-year rehabilitation project of the station.

The LIRR is replacing the station platform, canopy, staircases, elevator and escalator as well as the platform waiting room, lighting, public address system and signage. The agency is also starting work on the installation of a pocket track just east of the station that will improve train service and frequency as well as on-board seat availability.

The project represents the biggest improvement effort at Massapequa Station since the station was raised from street level in 1953. The LIRR will carry out the work in three phases arranged to ensure that train service continues uninterrupted throughout the project, though some schedule changes may be necessary at times.

The newest phase (1B) of the Massapequa platform project is expected to continue through early spring 2014.

The LIRR is making every effort to complete this project with the least amount of inconvenience to riders, residents and businesses in the surrounding community.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The next segment of a $40-million facelift of the Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) Massapequa Station started August 21, as the railroad continues the work it began in the spring on a two-year rehabilitation project.


The LIRR is replacing the station platform, canopy, staircases, elevator and escalator, as well as the platform waiting room, lighting, public address system and signage. The railroad is also starting work on the installation of a pocket track just east of the station that will improve train service and frequency, as well as on-board seat availability.
The project represents the biggest improvement effort at Massapequa Station since the station was raised from street level in 1953. The LIRR will carry out the work in three phases arranged to ensure that train service continues uninterrupted throughout the project, though some schedule changes may be necessary at times.
The newest phase (1B) of the Massapequa platform project is expected to continue through early spring 2014.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Yesterday, MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) began the next segment of a two-year, $40 million rehabilitation project at Massapequa Station.

Begun in spring, the project involves replacing the station platform, canopy, staircases, elevator and escalator, as well as the platform waiting room, lighting, public-address system and signage. The railroad also is beginning installation of a pocket track east of the station that will improve train service, frequency and onboard seating availability, LIRR officials said in a press release.

The newest phase of the platform project is expected to continue through spring 2014. During this phase of the work, an additional section of the platform's western half will be closed for demolition and reconstruction, and the platform will accommodate six cars instead of the current eight cars.

Meanwhile, LIRR officials will hold a public hearing Aug. 27 on proposed service changes, including proposals to restore half-hour service on the Port Washington Branch on weekends, and to operate weekend service on the Ronkonkoma Branch between Ronkonkoma and Greenport for 10 additional weekends per year.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling for a Long Island commuter representative to be appointed to Amtrak's board.

Although Amtrak owns and controls all rail tunnels connecting Queens and Manhattan, N.Y — playing a critical role in the daily commutes of hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders — the Amtrak board has no one specifically representing those commuters' needs, Schumer said in a press release issued last week.

This summer, malfunctions in the tunnels caused six massive delays and disruptions to train travel, and having a Long Island commuter representative on the board would increase the focus on tunnel maintenance and improvements, as well as communication with riders, he said.

"More commuters use these East River tunnels than ride on Amtrak's entire Northeast Corridor, and they deserve to have someone looking out just for their interests," said Schumer.

Amtrak's board normally has seven members, but one seat is vacant.

Amtrak owns the four single-track tunnels that run under the East River between Penn Station and Queens. MTA Long Island Rail Road uses the tracks when crossing under the river, meaning the majority of the railroad's 300,000 daily riders travel through the tunnels, Schumer said

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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LaGuardia Airport-bound passengers from Long Island, N.Y., now can get there without a car for the first time thanks to a new service available through MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and bus service.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will operate a new Q70 Limited bus service along a specially designed route from LIRR's Woodside Station to LaGuardia. The service will transport riders to the airport in 10 to 12 minutes for a $2.50 fare, LIRR officials said in a press release.

Woodward is a regular stop for many LIRR trains. Riders also can change trains at Jamaica Station to access Woodside.

"This new service is a great example of how the MTA network uses buses, railroads and the subway system to serve our customers' needs," said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast.

With the new LaGuardia connection, LIRR now can transport Long Islanders to all four of the New York City area's major airports via mass transit.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. has been awarded an $1.8 billion contract to design, manufacture, test and deliver a base order of 92 M9 rail cars for MTA Long Island Road (LIRR). The contract includes options for up to 584 cars for LIRR and MTA Metro-North Railroad, according to a LIRR blog posted yesterday.

The base order would provide LIRR with enough cars to replace its aging M3 fleet, the blog stated. Funding for the order will come from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2009-2014 capital budget. The cars would be designed to operate on either LIRR or Metro-North.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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US-based Kawasaki Rail Car has secured a $1.8bn contract to design, manufacture, test and deliver a base order of 92 M9 cars for the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in New York, US.

The new vehicles will replace LIRR's aging M3 fleet on a one-to-one basis.

The order comprises additional options for 584 cars for LIRR and MTA Metro-North Railroad, according to an article by LIRR.

Funds for the 92-car base order will come from the MTA's 2009-2014 Capital Program.

The new cars will be designed to operate on both LIRR and Metro-North systems without requiring any technical modifications.

The M9 cars will incorporate design features of previous M7 and M8 models, including AC traction systems, HVAC systems, better diagnostics and larger windows.

The cars will have single-leaf doors and automated announcements that will be played inside and outside the train.

Kawasaki Rail Car focuses on designing, building and delivering 100% American-made rail cars to the country's mass transportation market.

The company offers rapid transit vehicles, commuter trains, mono rails, high-speed trains and intercity and light rail vehicles, as well as electric, hydraulic and diesel locomotives.


Image: Kawasaki Rail Car plant in Yonkers, New York. Photo courtesy of Sean Lonergan.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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As part of its continuing focus on customer safety, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has launched a new informational campaign reminding "L" riders about the dangers of trespassing on CTA railroad tracks.

The campaign, featuring the tagline "Stay Off the Tracks, It's Not Worth Your Life," features a series of messages highlighting the dangers of activities, such as trying to retrieve items dropped onto the tracks, standing too close to the edge of a platform or trespassing along the railroad right of way.

"Safety has always been and will always be our No. 1 priority, in every facet of our operations," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "We created the campaign as an important reminder to our customers and we believe it will help further promote safe behavior on our rail system."

The CTA has long had a very strong safety record related to rail service. In 2012, the CTA provided more than 230 million rail rides, with 11 fatalities reported resulting from customers on the tracks. In 2011, there were 221 million rail riders and nine fatalities. Since 2009, there have been between six and 12 rail-related fatalities annually, many of which involve intentional acts by customers.

"Though the number of fatal incidents on the CTA is extremely low, one incident is one too many," Claypool said. "We continue to work to ensure the safest system possible and to both remind and encourage our customers to take simple steps to keep themselves safe."

This latest campaign complements CTA's existing rail safety information, including signs along the tracks, at every rail station and in every rail car, as well as safety brochures, website information and other materials.

The new safety campaign's car cards and posters will appear on rail cars and at rail stations throughout the CTA system and will also be used on digital signs at stations.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has launched a new public safety campaign, as well, in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that result when motorists and pedestrians ignore downed railroad crossing gates.

"It only takes a fraction of a second to make a very bad decision," intones the narrator over a graphic 15-second public service video commercial that shows a car being driven around a downed crossing gate only to be pulverized by an oncoming LIRR train. "Your life is worth the wait."

In a second spot ending with the same crash scene, the voiceover is: "Cars can stop on dime, Trains can't. At 60 miles per hour, it takes up to a mile for an engineer to bring his train to a complete halt. Please wait for the gate."

The locales shown and the passing trains are real. The cars and the collisions seen are computer-generated. However, the final startling image of a wrecked auto and a damaged LIRR train is the real aftermath of a train versus car incident. The occupants of the car were killed. The engineer was able to vacate his damaged cab just before it was engulfed in fire. That same photograph is the image being used for the campaign.

"It is the story of life and death in 15 seconds," said LIRR President Helena Williams. "Sadly, it's a scene that plays out too often. The safety of our customers, our employees and everyone who transverses our right of way is always our top priority. We have addressed the crossing gate problem in public service announcements time and again over the years and felt it was time to raise our voice once more"

Williams said the railroad's "Wait for the Gate" campaign will include television, radio and print advertising targeting Long Islanders, especially motorists, on News 12 Long Island, WCBS-880, Metro Traffic & Weather, two local weekly newspaper chains and six outdoor billboard locations near LIRR stations. The Railroad's Department of Customer Service and Public Affairs will also make use of all the available social media platforms, including MTA LIRR website and the LIRR's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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NEW YORK Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has placed a $US 1.8bn order with Kawasaki for an initial batch of 92 two-car M-9 emus for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) as part of a framework deal which includes options for up to 584 additional sets for both LIRR and Metro-North.

The multi-system trains will be similar in appearance to Metro-North's M-8 emus (pictured), 430 of which have been ordered from Kawasaki. The final batch of these trains is currently being delivered to MTA.

The M-9s will operate on LIRR's 750V dc electrification system and 11kV ac and 25kV ac systems on the Northeast Corridor.

The official LIRR request, approved by the MTA Board last week, notes that the M-9s will replace an equivalent number of M-3 vehicles. Three bidders competed for the order and Kawasaki's bid was deemed the highest-rated proposal with the lowest unit price and overall price.

Though the initial order of M-9s will be used by LIRR, the design will include reversible third rail collector shoes to allow for potential future operation on the Metro-North network. LIRR operates with overrunning third rail shoes, while Metro-North utilises shoes running underneath the third rail. Both Metro-North and LIRR have reportedly tested this concept with existing M-7 and M7A emus.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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USA: New York MTA has placed a framework order worth $1·8bn with Kawasaki Rail Car for the supply of up to 676 multi-system commuter rail EMU cars. Designated M-9, the trains would be designed for use by MTA’s two suburban operations, Metro-North which runs north into Connecticut from New York’s Grand Central Terminal, and Long Island Rail Road.

Currently, MTA has funding to call off a firm order for 92 vehicles for LIRR; these would be delivered from 2017. MTA is set to request funding to purchase the remaining 584 vehicles when it submits its 2015-19 Capital Plan next year.

The M-9 would be an evolution of the recent M-7 and M-8 EMUs now in traffic on LIRR and Metro-North respectively. The M-9 would be capable of operation from 750 V DC third rail used on LIRR and at the southern end of the Metro-North network, plus the 11 kV 25 Hz and 25 kV 60 Hz overhead power supplies used on the Northeast Corridor.

MTA expects the M-9 to feature a range of design modifications based on feedback on recently-procured vehicles, including enhanced passenger information and air-conditioning equipment. MTA is also reported to be evaluating the installation of onboard wi-fi. The car body is expected to be approximately 50 mm wider to give a more generous middle seat in a 2+3 arrangement.

The first tranche of EMUs to replace LIRR’s oldest M-3 trainsets, but subsequent orders are likely to be used to increase the fleet size ahead of the introduction of LIRR services to Grand Central under the East Side Access project, now scheduled to open in 2019.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New and improved train cars could be hitting the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad tracks, pending a vote scheduled for this week.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the MTA plans to replace half the new fleet on the LIRR. The new cars on both lines would feature more and roomier seats, upgraded air conditioning and larger windows, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported Tuesday.

The current LIRR cars are showing their age – at 30 years old. In transportation terms, that makes them antiques.

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  • MTA To Vote On Hundreds Of New LIRR, Metro-North Train Cars
  • WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief...

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“They are an old fleet they are tired, they don’t have diagnostics for us to do quick repairs,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.

The LIRR plans to replace all 180 of its old M-3 cars, which sport duct-taped repairs and paneled walls as dated as their vinyl seats.

The plan is to roll out 584 new electric cars starting in 2017. They are not yet designed, but they will be an upgrade even over the newer M7 cars in the fleet.

Some riders said they have a wish list, such as onboard wi-fi or even a bar car.

And the new train cars will indeed have wi-fi, as well as electrical outlets in every row. They will also feature eight more seats, sliding doors between cars, improved air conditioning, bigger windows, electronic signs, and a clearer public address system.

Middle seats will also be wider.

“Sometimes that’s the only seat available,” said LIRR Commuter Council President Mark Epstein, “and you get that feeling of dread and say, ‘Oh no, I have to sit in that seat.’”

Riders were also glad that arm rests will be redesigned.

“You get up, and it gets caught and rips your suit — not a fun way to start the day,” one rider said.

Riders can offer input on the process. The Commuter Council is soliciting suggestions, such as tinted windows and cup holders.

Railroad officials said they will incorporate what is feasible.

But some commuters at the Hicksville LIRR station said they are most concerned about reliability and avoiding a fare increase, rather than new car designs.

“As long as it gets me into the city every day when I’m supposed to get there, I really don’t care. Any improvement is nice, any luxury is nice,” a commuter named John said. “We need more seats, these trains are getting very crowded now and they’ve got to do something with all the people’s luggage.”

“It sounds wonderful. The only thing I’m concerned about is my pocketbook. All of these improvements are lovely, but at what expense to the commuter?” a woman added.

The comfort of the new train cars does, in fact, come at a cost. They would mean the execution of a $1.8 million contract between manufacturer Kawasaki and the MTA, which would be implemented in phases.

“I don’t think it’s needed,” one rider said. “I think we should spend our money in other places.”

The railroad president said the old cars have come to the end of the line.

The MTA Board votes Wednesday on the first phase of the plan, which calls for 92 cars for 2017.
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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and local private-sector unions have reached a Project Labor Agreement designed to reduce the LIRR’s labor costs on seven major construction projects by nearly 11%, saving the Railroad an estimated $6.5 million over the course of the next five years while protecting local trade union jobs.

The agreement, negotiated between the LIRR and the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is a first for the MTA and the LIRR. In addition to reducing costs, the pact includes a “no strike” clause on the covered projects, provides opportunities for minorities and women to enter trade union apprentice programs, and includes non-discrimination provisions in union hiring hall and job placement practices.

The first project to benefit from the agreement, which is subject to approval by the MTA board of directors, will be civil and structural work for Phase 1 of the LIRR’s proposed construction of a second track on its Main Line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma scheduled to get underway early next year. The MTA has budgeted $137.7 million for this first phase in its 2010-2014 Capital Plan.

The “Double Track” project will improve service and reliability on one of the LIRR’s busiest branches, spur economic activity, improve off peak frequency of service and reserve peak commuting opportunities, including connections to MacArthur Airport. The Double Track project environmental assessment and 30-day comment period on the project has been completed and a final decision on the project is expected in the fall.

The seven projects covered by the agreement are expected to create between 400 and 500 private sector construction jobs on Long Island.

The other projects covered by the agreement are: the New Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard ($76.6 million); Hicksville Station Improvements ($55.2 million) and Hicksville North Siding ($37.7 million); Ellison Avenue Bridge Replacement in Mineola ($39.2 million); Great Neck Pocket Track Extension ($25.8 million); Wantagh Station Platform Replacement ($20.7 million); and the Colonial Road Highway Bridge Replacement, also in Great Neck ($9.5 million). The total cost of union labor on those projects was originally estimated at $60.1 million.

Under the agreement, the Railroad guarantees that its contractors will employ only trade workers under the terms of collective agreements in the construction industry on Long Island, a key issue for labor which has seen many local jobs go to out-of-state firms employing non-union workers in recent years.

In undertaking negotiations with the Buildings and Construction Trades Council and its members, the LIRR's goal was to obtain the best work at the lowest possible price, prevent favoritism, fraud and corruption, and avoid delays and labor unrest, according to the agency.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and local private-sector unions have reached a Project Labor Agreement designed to reduce the LIRR's labor costs on seven major construction projects by nearly 11 percent, saving the railroad an estimated $6.5 million

throughout the course of the next five years while protecting local trade union jobs.

"This Project Labor Agreement is a real win-win for both the riders of the LIRR and the hardworking men and women of local Long Island trade unions," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "As the MTA moves forward on vital LIRR repairs and improvement projects, this agreement will help reduce costs, while creating and retaining good jobs on Long Island. I commend the leadership of the MTA and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk for their hard work in reaching this agreement."

The agreement, negotiated between the LIRR and the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is a first for the MTA and the LIRR. In addition to reducing costs, the pact includes a 'no strike' clause on the covered projects, provides opportunities for minorities and women to enter trade union apprentice programs and includes non-discrimination provisions in union hiring hall and job placement practices.

The first project to benefit from the agreement, which is subject to approval by the MTA Board of Directors, will be civil and structural work for Phase 1 of the LIRR's proposed construction of a second track on its mainline between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma scheduled to get underway early next year.

The seven projects covered by the agreement are expected to create between 400 and 500 private sector construction jobs on Long Island.

The other projects covered by the agreement are: the New Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard ($76.6 million); Hicksville Station Improvements ($55.2 million) and Hicksville North Siding ($37.7 million); Ellison Avenue Bridge Replacement in Mineola ($39.2 million); Great Neck Pocket Track Extension ($25.8 million); Wantagh Station Platform Replacement ($20.7 million) and the Colonial Road Highway Bridge Replacement, also in Great Neck ($9.5 million). The total cost of union labor on those projects was originally estimated at $60.1 million.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and local unions have reached a "project labor agreement" to lower LIRR's labor costs on seven major construction projects by nearly 11 percent, saving the railroad about $6.5 million over the next five years, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

The agreement also will protect local trade union jobs, Cuomo administration officials said in a press release.

Negotiated between the LIRR and the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk counties, the agreement is a first for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and LIRR. The pact includes a "no strike" clause on the covered projects, provides opportunities for minorities and women to enter trade union apprenticeships, and includes nondiscrimination provisions in union hiring hall and job replacement practices.

"As the MTA moves forward on vital LIRR repairs and improvement projects, this agreement will help reduce costs, while creating and retaining good jobs on Long Island," said Cuomo.

The first project under the agreement, still subject to approval by MTA's board, involves civil and structural work for the first phase of LIRR's proposed construction of a second track on a mainline between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, scheduled to begin in early 2014. The MTA budgeted $137.7 million for the first phase in the 2010-2014 capital plan.

The double-track project is designed to improve service and reliability on one of the railroad's busiest branches, spur economic activity, improve off-peak service frequency and reserve peak commenting opportunities, LIRR officials said. The project's environmental assessment and 30-day comment period has been completed, with a final decision on the project expected in fall.

Other projects covered by the agreement are the new Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard, a $76.6 million project; Hicksville Station improvements, $55.2 million, and Hicksville North siding, $37.7 million; Ellison Avenue Bridge replacement in Mineola, $39.2 million; Great Neck pocket track extension, $25.8 million; Wantagh Station platform replacement, $20.7 million; and the Colonial Road highway bridge replacement, also in Great Neck, $9.5 million.

 

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