Tuesday, June 11, 2013

LIRR opens public info center at Port Washington Station

LIRR opens public info center at Port Washington Station MTA website

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) opened an information center at Port Washington Station to detail the benefits of the LIRR's proposed track extensions at its Port Washington Train Yard.

The information center will have public hours this week and will move on to nearby Plandome Station next Monday and Manhasset Station next Tuesday.

The LIRR's proposal to build track extensions at the existing Port Washington yard is expected to immediately improve train service for Port Washington Branch customers and also provide more service to the East Side of Manhattan at Grand Central Terminal once the East Side Access project is completed.

The track extensions will allow two additional trains to be stored at the Port Washington Station, paving the way for additional express service and improved service to Citi Field and U.S. Open events, both served by the Port Washington Branch.

Once the East Side Access project is complete, the LIRR estimates that approximately 45 percent of its Port Washington Branch customers will opt for trains heading to Grand Central with commuting time cut by up to 40 minutes a day. In order to offer the additional service to Grand Central, the LIRR requires more space to position extra trains at the existing Port Washington yard so they can be ready for the morning rush.

The Port Washington, Plandome and Manhasset stations pose special challenges because they are served by a single track over the Manhasset viaduct. This makes it especially important to be able to position trains at the existing Port Washington yard to be ready for morning service.

The information centers at stations are positioned to fully explain the options and seek community input. The two options are:

Option A: Extension of Yard Tracks 1 & 8:

This option would be possible if the LIRR could purchase a 7,900 square foot parcel of land now part of the East Parking Lot and currently owned by the Town of North Hempstead. The town's lot, with restriping, would not lose any parking spots. Under this option, there would be a net loss of approximately 40 parking spaces on the LIRR's lot on the Haven Avenue side of the station.

Option B: Extension of Track 1 and Creation of Track 0:

Under this option, the LIRR would confine the new track to its own property, but would have to reclaim its own land it currently leases to the Town for commuter parking along Haven Avenue at a loss of approximately 140 parking spaces.

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