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A major milestone in the Long Island Railroad’s transformation is complete.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Long Island Rail Road’s historic Third Track project — an almost 10-mile track that runs between Floral Park and Hicksville — is just about ready to roll.
With only minor station work left to finalize, the project is heads toward the finish line $100 million under budget, almost four years after breaking ground.
“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,” 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.”
The Third Track is the centerpiece of the larger $2.5 billion Long Island Rail Road Main Line Expansion Project, which includes the revitalization of five LIRR stations: New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury.
The project will also eliminate eight at-grade railroad crossings, make upgrades at seven railroad bridges, expand parking, improve landscaping and install new sound attenuation barriers.
This Third Track allows for more railroad operational flexibility, and service will increase by 41 percent systemwide when Grand Central opens later this year.
In addition to minimizing service disruptions, this new LIRR development creates true bi-directional LIRR service to fuel the local economy.
See the governor’s official announcement on Twitter below.
Top photo: LIRR train pulling into station. (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)