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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday unveiled a $5.6 billion initiative to improve MTA Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) infrastructure. Under Cuomo's plan, LIRR will be able to advance 100 "transformative" capital projects, including adding a third track to the railroad's Main Line, according to a press release issued by the governor's office.Additionally, the funds will allow for the systemwide reconstruction of track, switches, signaling and power substations. Those improvements will increase LIRR's capacity by more than 80 percent, Cuomo's release stated.The initiative also includes money to improve 39 stations across the system. "The LIRR is the backbone of the region's economy, and the strength and resiliency of Long Island requires bold, transformative investments to bolster our transportation network," Cuomo said. "From the previously unthinkable third track and second track projects to state-of-the-art technology and signal upgrades, we are daring to imagine better and delivering for the people of New York once again."The initiative was the result of partnerships between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, state and local officials and Long Island communities.The $5.6 billion plan is part of New York's $100 billion infrastructure program, which is the largest of its kind in the nation. A central component of that larger plan is building a new Hudson River rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
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