The Double Track project is now operational!
Over the past 25 years, ridership on the Ronkonkoma Branch has doubled with close to 48,000 customers each weekday. With only one track along 13 miles of the 17-mile stretch between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, there was a significant risk to reliable service and on-time performance in the event of a service disruption: The Double Track Project is a 21st century solution for crowd reduction, delay prevention and service improvements.
The Double Track Project has introduced 13 miles of a brand-new second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. Construction of an uninterrupted second track on the Ronkonkoma Line has been part of the LIRR’s vision for decades – the project also includes new platforms and station rehabilitation at Pinelawn and Wyandanch Stations, as well as procurement, testing and installation of new signal equipment for the entire Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma segment.
The $431 million project was completed on an expedited schedule thanks to an innovative track-laying technology that lays rail 10 times faster than before, which, combined with a productive design-build approach, put this project on course for completion by the end of Summer 2018. The first trains are entering 14 months ahead of the original construction schedule, which was accelerated in 2016 at Governor Cuomo’s direction. Early completion of the project has freed up LIRR resources for other projects in support of LIRR’s expansion and modernization, like Positive Train Control, East Side Access, Main Line Third Track and Ronkonkoma Yard.
Double Track, in conjunction with East Side Access and the Main Line Third Track projects, will unlock this region’s true potential. LIRR can now provide better access to Brookhaven National Laboratory and Long Island MacArthur Airport; a second track gives this branch the capacity possibilities Suffolk County needs to grow, allowing transit-oriented development to function optimally and encourage smart growth near train stations.
Notice of Availability
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) have prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Main Line Double Track Project (the Project), between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The EA evaluates the potential environmental effects of the project.
LIRR would like to thank the elected officials, residents, civic groups, the business community and commuters who participated in the process, visited the Double Track information centers, and provided comments on the project. Since this project began, LIRR has met with over 250 people representing business, civic, labor and other groups.
The proposed action includes the addition of a second track, two new platforms, switches, crossovers, and other ancillary railroad infrastructure in the single-track segments of the right of way along the LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
The New York Public Authorities Law Document, EA and its appendices are available electronically:
- Determination of New York Public Authorities Law Section 1266(11) Applicability
- Executive Summary (Final)
- Chapters 1 & 2 (Final)
- Appendices A-E (Final)
- Appendices F-L (Final)
For more Information, please contact:
Double Track Project
MTA Long Island Rail Road, MC 1131
Jamaica Station Building
Jamaica, NY 11435
Here’s What Local Officials Have to Say About the Double Track Project:
“Adding a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma on the LIRR makes sense for commuters
and for the region. It will improve service, create jobs and stimulate economic activity along this critical stretch of the LIRR. The Rt. 110 employment corridor, MacArthur Airport and a number of projects in development like the Wyandanch Rising and Ronkonkoma Hub all will benefit from more reliable and more frequent train service.”
— Gov. Andrew Cuomo
“A second track will reduce commuting times, facilitate the flow of workers into and out of Long Island, spur the growth of MacArthur Airport and create a job creation corridor right down the center of the Island. When you look at the amount of time saved and the number of people it affects, it is clear that this is one of the most important public transportation projects in the entire country.”
— United States Senator from NY, Charles E. Schumer
“The second track project brings tremendous benefits; jobs, economic development for Long Island, and improved service for LIRR riders. That’s why we fought so hard to make sure work starts now, not in 2015. Accelerating this project will allow that to happen and ensure that a project which has long been a dream finally becomes a reality.”
— NY State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Chairman
of the Senate’s Transportation Committee “The announcement of $138 million in accelerated funding to build the second track project is a huge win for Long Islanders. The impact of this important return on our investment will boost our region’s strength, and specifically our economy. This will create jobs, improve our tax base, and make Long Island a better place to work and raise a family.”
— NY State Senator Lee Zeldin
“Accelerating the Double Track project is a win for Long Island and will promote economic development
in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Long Island faces many transportation challenges. However, the acceleration of the Double Track project will open up new opportunities for transportation as well as transit oriented development, which is economically beneficial to the Long Island region.”
— Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
“Double track will support development of the Wyandanch Rising project. It will also provide boundless economic opportunities for the East Farmingdale/Route 110 Corridor and the region as a whole.”
— Rich Schaffer, Babylon Town Supervisor
“Islip residents who commute to work in Manhattan every day, families who enjoy visiting NY City, and travelers heading to/from LI MacArthur Airport are looking for better mass transit. A more robust LIRR allows our Seniors to participate in life on Long Island and gives young people a reason to stay.”
— Tom Croci, Islip Town Supervisor
“The Double Track Project will vastly improve the on-time performance of the LIRR and residents who use the railroad will certainly feel the impact on a day-to-day basis. Just as important, it will create a much needed boost to the local economy by providing construction jobs for many years to come. I pledge my full support behind getting this project on track and started now.”
— Ed Romaine, Brookhaven Town Supervisor
“The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) views construction of a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma as a critical project for the Long Island economy. The second track will make travel more convenient, increase capacity significantly, and dramatically reduce the impact of train breakdowns and other incidents in this part of the railroad. This project is vital to users of the LIRR and is long overdue.”
— Mark Epstein, Chairman, LIRR Commuters’ Council