Construction Team Takes Precautions to Complete Expansion of Diesel Locomotive Shop During COVID-19 Crisis

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop 03-25-20

The Morris Diesel Park project team has been hard at work this past fall and winter, and the yard and locomotive shop are nearly finished. The project is advancing under the challenging conditions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, and the Morris Diesel Park team, like all other MTA employees and contractors, is taking every necessary step to be safe and remain healthy while remaining on schedule to complete the project this summer.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, field staff have been redeployed more appropriately, and workers are being rotated to reduce the number of team members at the site during work hours. Additional handwashing facilities have been installed throughout the site, and project management has initiated toolbox talks and put up posters and reminders regarding hand washing and social distancing. All physical interactions between team members have been reduced, with all meetings taking place as conference calls and video conferences.

The train yard, which is west of Jamaica Station, is where the LIRR maintains and overhauls its diesel locomotive fleet, which is in use on the Port Jefferson Branch east of Huntington, on the Oyster Bay Branch, on the Ronkonkoma Branch east of Ronkonkoma and on the Montauk Branch. Once the new shop is open, crews will be able to service four diesel locomotives at once, which will improve turnaround time for repairs and increase the reliability and lifespan of the fleet.

Here’s a rundown of what’s been done at this state of the art, 24-7 facility:

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop 03-25-20

  • The entire building, which comprises the locomotive shop and a new employee facility, is completely enclosed. Roll-up gates and glass entry facades are in, walls and windows are up.
  • The roof, which includes skylights, is finished.
  • HVAC including air handlers, exhaust fans and heating units have been installed. Overhead lights are being installed.

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop 03-25-20

  • 85 percent of large mechanical equipment – drop tables, turntables and truck hoists – has been installed.
  • Boilers have been installed.

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop 03-25-20

The backshop area is where work is done on the trucks themselves (wheels, suspension and brakes). Wash and repair of trucks takes place here, as does welding. The facility also includes storage for parts and supplies, locker rooms, a lunchroom, offices and a conference room. Fixtures are being installed in the employee facility area, and interior finishes are underway.

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop 03-25-20

  • Trackwork is 95 percent done.

Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop, located in Queens, is used to maintain and overhaul diesel locomotives. The shop is currently undergoing construction to upgrade the facility, including the installation of new maintenance bays and associated work areas, employee facilities, parts storage and wayside power for storage tracks. Construction of this project began in March 2018 and is anticipated to be completed this spring.

For more information and images, please visit the Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop project page on AModernLI.com.