Project Overview

Expanding LIRR’s Main Line corridor to make living and working on Long Island easier.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a major project for the Long Island Rail Road that will improve service, safety and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people who live, work and travel on Long Island.

The LIRR Expansion Project is a new proposal, unlike any before it, that will improve mass transit, reduce traffic congestion, protect the environment, improve safety, enhance community quality-of-life, and ensure Long Island’s economic health now and for the next century.

The project calls for a completely new approach to the construction of a third track along a 9.8-mile stretch of the railroad’s heavily traversed Main Line corridor between the Floral Park and Hicksville train stations. The project also includes the elimination of the seven grade crossings along this route, upgrades to railroad infrastructure and stations, and new parking facilities. It will provide a more attractive alternative to driving and reduce traffic on Long Island’s already congested roads.

The project will reduce train congestion and delays, and enable true bi-directional service during peak hours, as well as more intra-Island service. This will promote job growth and opportunities for Long Islanders and make it easier for Long Islanders to enjoy all the region has to offer, such as entertainment, sporting events, dining and nightlife in New York City.

Unlike previous attempts to build a third track on the Main Line, the project requires ZERO residential property acquisitions, and substantially reduces the need for commercial land acquisition by building the track within the existing LIRR right-of-way. Construction will be handled in a way to minimize the impact on daily routines, with extensive mitigation efforts being planned in conjunction with local communities.

The end result will be a Long Island with better rail service; with safer, less-congested roads; with cleaner air; with quieter backyards and neighborhoods; and a public transit infrastructure better equipped to serve the job and population growth our region needs to prosper.

Project Benefits

Project Timeline

View key milestones from the Long Island Rail Road Expansion Project

  • January 2016 Project announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
  • March 2016 LIRR hires engineering consultant to perform environmental review.
  • May 2016 Project Information Center opens at Mineola Station.
  • May 5, 2016 A Draft Scoping Document – outlining what environmental issues should be studied – is released. Public comment period for Scoping Document begins.
  • May 24 & 25, 2016 Six Public Scoping Meetings held for public to learn about and comment on what environmental issues should be studied.
  • June 13, 2016 Public comment period for Draft Scoping Document ends.
  • Summer 2016 Ongoing community outreach continues – hundreds of meetings have been held.
  • August 26, 2016 A Final Scoping Document – reflecting that issues raised by the public during the Scoping comment period are added to the scope of the environmental study – is released.
  • November 2016 MTA Board approves RFQ/RFP procurement method for design/build contractor, and a public “request for qualifications” is issued inviting private construction firms to present their qualifications to be considered for a project of the scope and complexity of the LIRR Expansion Project.  A shortlist of the most qualified firms will eventually be invited to make specific proposals to design and build the project, with a particular emphasis on reducing the length and community impact of construction.
  • November 28, 2016 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released to public, and public comment period for Draft EIS begins. An EIS is a document that describes a proposed project in detail, including its purpose and need, its benefits, its potential environmental effects, and many other issues.
  • January 17-19, 2017 More public meetings held, to provide additional opportunities to learn about and comment on Draft EIS.  Click here for a complete list of public hearings on the Draft EIS.
  • February 15, 2017 Public comment period for Draft EIS ends.
  • March 30, 2017 More than 700 local small businesses, mostly women-, minority- and service disabled veteran-owned, attend a forum hosted by the MTA and Empire State Development to learn how to work on the LIRR Expansion Project.
  • April 12, 2017 Final Environmental Impact Statement is released. The Final EIS contains the Draft EIS, including any necessary revisions and supplements; a summary of substantive public comments and responses received during the DEIS comment period; any revisions, including further studies, in response to the DEIS comments. 
  • April 26, 2017 The LIRR Findings Statement is released.
  • Summer 2017 Project funding is authorized. Final Request for Proposals for design-build contractor is released to bid
  • December 2017 MTA Board announces Design-Build Contract Award
  • Early 2018 After a design-build contract is awarded, start of construction and next phase of public outreach to keep community and commuters informed during construction.