The LIRR Mid-Suffolk Storage Yard, an expansion of the existing Ronkonkoma Yard and the easternmost electric train yard on Long Island, continues to take shape: the new employee facility is almost complete, new tracks are being installed in the eastern segment of the yard, AC and DC substations are being installed, permanent lighting catenary is finished and has been installed. Finally, a material storage facility, building four, is complete and the Railroad has moved in – this building now houses track, maintenance and signal equipment. The LIRR’s new M9 cars, a core component of the East Side Access project, which will create an LIRR terminal beneath Grand Central Terminal, will be stored here.
The retaining wall pictured above is the beginning of the expanded yard. Once the old employee facility is demolished, the retaining wall will extend through this space across the yard. The demolition will take place this winter. Whatever metal or stone from the old facility that can be reused or recycled will be.
Moving employees and equipment from the old employee facility to the new facility will take approximately three weeks. Duplicate systems are being installed, so there will be no operational disruptions.
Systems have been installed in the new employee facility and are being tested: this includes HVAC and fire alarms and a booster pump for the sprinkler system. Part of the testing makes sure all systems are code compliant.
Like the old employee facility, the new facility will be open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and includes men’s and women’s locker rooms, offices, seminar rooms and training offices, and a cafeteria. The entire facility is ADA compliant. Nightshift employees, such as cleaners and train crews, will also make regular use of the new facility.
The Yard Master, who controls the flow of trains in and out of the yard, has a corner office with a view of the entire yard.
New track has been installed east of the parking lot. Permanent lighting catenary is finished and has been installed. 11 new lay-up tracks will be installed, increasing the total number of tracks in the yard to 22. On weekends and overnights more than 20 12-car trains will be stored in the yard.
In addition to Building Four, the Material Storage Facility, there is also a facility for the EIC Group, which performs extraordinary in-car cleaning, which includes heavy cleaning such as gum removal, seat repair and sanitizing entire cars.
A new AC substation will power the employee facility and all the yard’s non-rail electrical power (everything that’s not third rail).
All third rail power will be provided by a new DC substation at the south side of the yard.
The expansion of the current train storage yard and the construction of a new employee facility are necessary to support the planned increase in rail service with the opening of East Side Access into Grand Central Terminal. The new, expanded yard will provide additional space to store, maintain, inspect, clean, repair and service electric train cars, thus enabling an increase in service on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the AM rush by almost 50 percent. This new yard capacity supports the future service plan for this branch, which includes additional westbound trains starting at Ronkonkoma. This project will ultimately make travel between Long Island and New York City more reliable and comfortable for LIRR customers. For more information, please visit the Mid-Suffolk Storage Yard project page on AModernLI.com.