The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Construction & Development (C&D) have completed major construction on the Mid-Suffolk Train Storage Yard in Ronkonkoma.
The project will increase future capacity and reliability for the railroad as part of the LIRR Expansion.
“The expanded train yard, along with the third track project, grade crossing eliminations and East Side Access, are all major investments advancing rapidly — and safely — during the pandemic, and they will all contribute to more flexible and reliable railroad service,” said Janno Lieber, President, C&D. “We are completing these projects faster than ever before — but the reality is we need help from the federal government to ensure our safety and modernization projects like this one can continue.”
“Our workforce continues to deliver on our commitment to improving service and reliability for today while we keep an eye on the future. This facility is an example of how LIRR is a driver of long-term economic sustainability and growth,” said Phil Eng, LIRR president. “I thank the entire team for their heroic efforts during these unprecedented times.”
Formerly known as the Ronkonkoma Yard, the newly expanded Mid-Suffolk Yard will provide additional space to store, maintain, inspect, service, and clean electric train cars. With COVID-19 still a serious health issue, cleaning of trains has become vital in combating the disease. The yard features 11 additional tracks for a total of 22, each with the capacity for a 12-car train set.
The Mid-Suffolk yard will enable an increase in service on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the morning rush by nearly 50 percent when East Side Access opens under Grand Central Terminal at the end of 2022. A new employee facility is now in use in the yard.
Work on the site began July 2018 with land-clearing to make way for the new two-story, 15,900-square-foot employee facility, new material storage facility to the southeast of the employee facility with a new materials lay-down area located to its west.
A new traction power substation, G37, powers train operations at the yard. The mega-substation was built to replace the existing G36 substation at the eastern end of the yard, which was just about at the end of its useful life. A 50-foot green barrier of pine trees remains between the rail yard and public spaces.
The expanded facility is open 24 hours a day and will ultimately make travel between Long Island and New York City more reliable and comfortable for LIRR customers.