Marking another important milestone for LIRR Expansion Project, the new Nassau 1 Interlocking was tested and put into service by MTA C&D and the Long Island Rail Road during a recent weekend service outage.
An interlocking is a series of switches that enable trains to move from one track to another. With a new third track being installed, the new interlocking is needed to enable trains to move to and from the new track to the existing two tracks. This flexibility enables the railroad to bypass stalled trains, enhancing reliability. The third track also allows the LIRR to increase capacity by nearly 50 percent and provide true bidirectional service during peak hours.
The new Nassau 1 Interlocking System is part of a comprehensive modernization effort to streamline operations, optimize flexibility, and ensure the safe movement of trains along the corridor. Moving Nassau 1 Interlocking closer to Mineola Station is part of an overall operating strategy that will, upon completion of the third track, speed up the movement of Oyster Bay Branch service through the area and allow for greater throughput along the Main Line.
During several Main Line service outages in 2020, crews worked to install the six switches that make up the interlocking, located just east of the Merillon Avenue Station. They also installed miles of new fiber optic communication lines, power lines, signals and other components required to make the interlocking functional. A similar interlocking – Nassau 3 – is currently under construction further east in Mineola.
More than 200 trains traverse these interlockings each day. The LIRR Expansion Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.