The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will relocate tracks to to create space for an entrance to a newly built tunnel to Grand Central as part of the East Side Access project.
The new tunnel to Grand Central has been constructed underneath the Sunnyside Yard and is set to carry eastbound and westbound trains that will connect with the LIRR Main Line at Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, which also recently underwent signal system upgrades, officials said. In addition to the track relocation, crews will also perform related reconstruction work for track switches.
“This track relocation reflects real, tangible progress at East Side Access – bringing us another step closer to starting LIRR service to Grand Central,” said Janno Lieber, MTA’s chief development officer. “After this step is completed, the contract to build the tunnel entrance, which will begin active construction this fall, is the last major contract needed for the start of service.”
LIRR will implement temorary schedule changes beginning on July 21 to accomodate the work and take advantage of the lower summer ridership. The schedules will also restore five trains that had been rerouted as of January due to Amtrak’s ongoing track work at Penn Station.
“I’m pleased that this is taking place in a compressed time frame of just six weeks, during the summer when rush hour commuting is generally lower,” LIRR President Phillip Eng said. “I thank our customers for bearing with us as the MTA makes this historic improvement to the railroad.”