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Old Posted Jan 31, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Nexis4Jersey Nexis4Jersey is offline
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New Report: A Third Track on the Main Line Is Key to Long Island’s Economy

by Joseph Cutrufo

A January 2013 report by the Regional Plan Association and the Long Island Index, “How the Long Island Rail Road Could Shape the Next Economy,” is reviving the discussion about building a third track on the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line. The third track has been a third rail for some Long Islanders, mainly those whose properties abut the Main Line corridor, but the report highlights how the infrastructure project would be a boon for Long Island’s regional economy.

At issue is the train congestion and limited service capacity of the existing two tracks in the 9.8 mile span between Floral Park and Hicksville. The infrastructure is the same as it was in 1844 when it accommodated 24 daily trains and Long Island’s population was 50,000. Today, Long Island’s population is 2.8 million and 106 daily trains along five branches use the Main Line. It has become the spine of the LIRR.

A third track would add substantial capacity to the system by allowing for more frequent service and providing a passing lane to get around stalled trains. The third track could also bring a needed boost to Long Island’s economy: reverse commutes from New York City to employment centers along the Hicksville, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Montauk Lines — all of which merge with the Main Line at Hicksville – will be much more feasible with a third track.
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