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MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Phil Eng yesterday announced plans to repair faulty infrastructure and boost operating efficiency following a year of poor on-time performance.In 2017, the railroad logged its worst on-time performance history in nearly two decades, Newsday reported last month.Known as LIRR Forward, Eng's plan calls for updates to 10 switches that caused almost half of the railroad's 205 switch failures last year. Additionally, crews will conduct comprehensive joint inspections and upgrades on 370 track circuits, clear 180 miles of overgrown vegetation along LIRR's right of way and install14 additional third rail heaters to prevent power failures during snowfall.Over the past four weeks, Eng met with LIRR staff to develop the initiatives, LIRR officials said in a press release. While riding trains during his morning commute, Eng asked riders for their service improvement ideas.The LIRR Forward plan is an evolving document that the railroad will use as a methodology for analyzing service and potential improvements in the future, LIRR officials said. The plan also identifies the root causes of system malfunctions and details steps to fix them."LIRR Forward is the first formal step in a new direction that will help us anticipate our problems before they arise, set standards on how to quickly and correctly respond to the challenges we face, to deliver what our ridership expects of us — which is safe, reliable service bolstered by timely, accurate and effective communication," said Eng, who was named LIRR president last month.
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