East Side Access trackwork to speed LIRR and Amtrak trains

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

For 30 days this summer, crews working on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's East Side Access megaproject will build heavy concrete slabs that will serve as the ceiling of a new underpass at the busy Harold Interlocking switching complex in Sunnyside, Queens.


The underpass will create a congestion-free bypass for Amtrak trains approaching Penn Station from Boston, which means fewer potential delays for customers of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Amtrak.

The work to build the westbound bypass is part of a project to decongest Harold Interlocking that is being funded with a Federal High Speed Rail grant of nearly $300 million, which was awarded in 2011.

Once installed, the concrete slabs being put into place between July 22 and August 16 will allow for LIRR service to continue without further cancellations while the bypass is built under one of the busiest train intersections in North America. Without the slab, weekend LIRR outages would have been required for many months.