Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2014

Part 1 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Preface

Part 2 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Amtrak and transit agencies in California

Part 3 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Colorado and Florida

Part 4 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Georgia, Illinois and Missouri

Part 5 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in New York

Part 6 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Tennessee and Texas

Part 7 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Virginia and the state of Washington

Part 8 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail At A Glance: Metrolinx in Ontario, Canada

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in New York



MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)

Operates 735 daily trains connecting Long Island communities to Manhattan. Service launched in 1834.

Route miles: More than 700 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 836 Bombardier M-7 EMUs put into service beginning in 1999; 170 M-3 EMU cars in service since the early 1990s

Daily ridership: 301,000

Annual operating cost: Not available

Annual capital cost: Not available

Number of stations: 124

LIRR and Metro-North Railroad have awarded a contract to a Bombardier Transportation/Siemens Rail Automation joint venture to design and install a positive train control system on the two commuter-rail systems. LIRR's portion of the work will cost $218 million. The installation is expected to be completed in December 2018, although the railroads are in discussions with the joint venture to accelerate the delivery of onboard and wayside equipment for earlier installation. Since PTC is an overlay to LIRR's existing signal system, the railroad is pursuing a unified approach to upgrade its communication and signal network, in part by upgrading its automatic block signal (ABS) and controlled manual block (CMB) signal systems to an automatic speed control (ASC) system. LIRR also has awarded a $20 million contract to Ansaldo STS to design and install a new vital micro-processor-based interlocking control system between Speonk and Montauk, a 45-mile stretch of track that has no signalization.

Three capital projects totaling more than $106 million are under way in the Hicksville area to improve and modernize the station, track and signal systems. In July 2013, LIRR awarded a $2.9 million contract to AECOM to complete design work for the station and track portions of the project. The station project includes constructing two 12-car platforms, platform waiting rooms, and platform canopy structures and associated drainage systems. It also calls for replacing platform lighting, communications and CCTV systems, staircases, elevators and escalators. The track portion of the project includes modifying signal relays and installing third-rail power to connect existing north siding in Hicksville with station track #1 for main track operations; constructing 3,300 feet of new track; providing infrastructure to support additional Manhattan-bound train trips from Hicksville; and providing an alternative routing in case of maintenance, construction or service disruption at Hicksville.

The signal portion of the Hicksville project calls for installing a new signal supervisory control system at Divide Tower and upgrading the associated field units on the mainline and Port Jefferson branches. In February, LIRR awarded a $4 million design contract to Power Resources International.

LIRR also has started a $435 million program to double track its mainline from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale. In December 2013, the agency awarded a $34.7 million design/build contract to a Skanska-Posillico joint venture to complete the first phase of the project: adding a second track on the mainline Ronkonkoma Branch, from Ronkonkoma to west of Central Islip. Construction began in spring. The double-track project has prompted a transit-oriented development initiative near LIRR's Wyandanch Station, where apartments and retail space are being built. A new LIRR parking facility and station building are planned as part of the project. In December 2013, the railroad awarded an $18.8 million design-build contract to E.W. Howell L.L.C. to build a 900-space parking facility, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2016.

In addition, LIRR is advancing capital projects aimed at supporting future train service to Grand Central Terminal. Construction on Phase 1 of a $301.7 million Jamaica capacity improvement project, as well as a $19.6 million Massapequa pocket track, is under way. This month, LIRR plans to begin construction on a $35.3 million Great Neck pocket track and Colonial Road bridge. In January 2016, the railroad plans to begin a $12.1 million Port Washington yard track extension and $76.6 million project at the Mid Suffolk Train Storage Yard.

Since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, LIRR has identified resiliency projects aimed at protecting the rail system during future weather events. The agency is developing grant applications for those projects, which include installing a high-density signal system in the East River tunnels, further protecting the East River tunnel portals, reinforcing Long Island City Yard and the Atlantic Avenue tunnels, improving perimeter protection for West Side Yard, and completing the double-track project so passengers could shift from the Babylon Branch to the main line, should the south shore of Long Island and branch line service be compromised by a future weather event.

Finally, LIRR and Metro-North are collaborating to develop new fare-payment technology that would enable customers to purchase tickets using a variety of payment and purchase methods, including cash, credit cards and PIN-less debit cards, smart cards, smartphones and self-printed tickets.


MTA Metro-North Railroad

Operates more than 700 trains each weekday, serving seven counties in New York state and two counties in Connecticut. Service launched in 1983.

Route miles: 385 commuter rail

Rolling stock: 12 BL20 and 31 Genesis locomotives; 213 coaches; 336 M-7 cars, 138 M-3s, 46 M-2s, 51 M-4/M-6, 346 M-8s

Annual ridership: 83.4 million recorded in 2013; 84.3 million projected in 2014

Annual operating cost: $1.2 billion

Annual capital cost: $307 million in project commitments — $289 million from the 2010-2014 capital program and $18 million from the 2005-2009 capital program

Number of stations: 124

Metro-North continues to take delivery of 380 M-8 electric multiple units and 25 single-car units to replace the EMU fleet on the New Haven Line. The $1 billion project is being funded by Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. As of mid-August, 364 of the Kawasaki Rail Car-built vehicles had been delivered, with the remainder scheduled to be delivered by late 2015.

The agency is spending $206 million in its 2010-2014 capital program (along with an additional $53 million from Connecticut DOT) to implement positive train control. Additional funding in the 2015-2019 will be needed to complete the installation. SYSTRA and AECOM are providing design services and Bombardier is serving as the systems integrator.

Metro-North also is installing a new signal system on its West of Hudson territory, replacing the old system with one that is PTC-ready. The new signal system was designed by a SYSTRA/AECOM joint venture as part of the PTC effort, signal houses are being provided by Alstom, and installation is being performed by Ducci. The $68 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The agency is building a $42 million, 500-space parking garage at the North White Plains station using land formerly occupied by a smaller garage. The structure also will include a new utility building. Prismatic Development Corp. began the design-build portion of the project in September 2013 and is expected to finish the work in May 2015.

Metro-North is spending $42 million to rehabilitate the Harlem River Lift Bridge, which first opened in 1954. Tutor Perini will replace all wire rope cables that support the main span trusses and counterweights that are used to raise the bridge for river traffic. At the same time, the firm will replace the electrical control system and build two circuit breaker houses that will cut off power to the third rail when the bridge is raised. Construction began in July 2013 and is expected to be completed in August 2015.

Two of Metro-North's bigger new projects call for repairing power and signal systems along 30 miles of the Hudson Line that was submerged in salt water during Hurricane Sandy. The agency will restore the right of way and replace signal and power systems, incorporating resiliency features such as elevated equipment and watertight components. A project to replace three substations at Riverdale, Tarrytown and Croton-Harmon was advertised for bid in August, with a contract award expected in fourth-quarter 2014. The project is scheduled to be completed in fourth-quarter 2016. The replacement of the signal and power components — which involves trenching and replacing fiber-optic cable, signal power and communications cables, as well as damaged power components and cables — will be completed in two phases. A request for proposals for a design-build contract was advertised in August. Phase 1 involves 16 miles of improvements from Hastings to Croton-Harmon. Work is expected to begin early next year and be complete in 2018. Phase 2 will follow, and includes completing the improvements from Mott Haven to Hastings.

In January 2015, Metro-North plans to begin building a new consist shop and running repair shop at the Harmon maintenance facility. Over the past 20 years, Metro-North has spent nearly $400 million to replace the various shop facilities, originally built in 1910, with state-of-the-art maintenance capabilities.


MTA New York City Transit (NYCT)

Operates subway service in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Service launched in 1904.

Route miles: 244 heavy rail

Rolling stock: 72 locomotives; 6,339 subway cars, average age 19.31 years; 126 R188 "A" Divison rail cars on order from Kawasaki Rail Car to be delivered by February 2016, and operate on the 7 Flushing Line and 7 Line extension; 300 R179 "B" Divison rail cars on order from Bombardier Transportation, to be delivered by January 2017 to replace 272 cars and provide 28 cars for the Second Avenue Subway Phase 1; 28 locomotives on order from MotivePower Inc.

Annual ridership: 1.7 billion (2013) Annual operating cost: $3.6 billion (2014)

Capital cost: $11.6 billion (2010-2014 capital program)

Number of stations: 468

NYCT is planning the following resiliency projects, as it continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy:

  • Mitigation of flooding at 10 rail yards in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens that support the entire New York City subway system. The $617 million project will protect the yards located in flood-prone areas with a new design to improve perimeter protection, drainage and pumping.
  • Protection of more than 500 street-level openings at stations serving lower Manhattan. The openings — which include stairwells, elevators, escalators, sidewalk vents and manholes — will be fitted with emergency flood covers, at a cost of $301 million.
  • Rockaway Line storm protections, which includes a steel seawall that has been constructed to protect against future storm surges such as the one during Sandy, which flooded more than three miles of rail across Jamaica Bay, causing a seven-month shut-down of the subway link to the Rockaways. The $127 million project also includes implementing flood-mitigation measures at the Howard Beach and Broad Channel stations, the right of way between the stations, and related substations and a relay room. Further improvements will include a new signaled crossover at Beach 105 Street Station to provide service flexibility after storms.
  • Emergency communications enhancements to support the upgrade of NYCT's emergency booth communications system, which will allow for faster and more reliable communications to passengers and among personnel during emergencies. The system will provide instant two-way communication between stations and the rail control center. The $75 million project also includes a backup power control center to minimize the risk of power outages and enhanced backup systems to the rail control center.
  • Protection of tunnel portals and internal tunnel sealing, which will prevent incursion of water through three vulnerable tunnel portals, located at the 148th and 207th street yards in Manhattan, and Hunters Point in Queens, as well as an internal stairway at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue that is subject to flooding.

Meanwhile, NYCT is preparing for a B-Division R211 rail-car procurement that calls for replacing the 752 75-foot B Division R46 cars in the fleet that are scheduled for retirement in 2017. NYCT has contracted CH2M Hill to provide consulting services to help the agency select the car/train type, system and components, technical specifications and overall design. NYCT expects to award the rail-car contract in 2015.

Finally, NYCT recently submitted a proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program for state approval. The $17.1 billion program would include $2.7 billion for subway cars, $2.9 billion for stations, $2 billion for track, $723 million for line equipment, $832 million for line structures, $3.2 billion for signals and communications, $1.3 billion for power, $357 million for shops and yards, $592 million for depots, $260 million for service vehicles and $372 million for Staten Island Railway.


MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR)

Links 22 communities on Staten Island; service launched in 1860.

Route miles: 29 rapid transit

Rolling stock: 4 locomotives; 63 rail cars, average age 42 years

Annual ridership: 4.2 million (2012)

Annual operating cost: $52.9 million (2014)

Annual ridership: $23.7 million

Number of stations: 22

SIR is building a new Arthur Kill Station, an ADA-compliant station and parking facility that will replace the existing Atlantic and Nassau stations. The new facility is being built at grade level between the two existing stations. The project's contract was awarded in July 2013 and substantial completion is forecasted for October 2015. SIR also is upgrading its CCTV system, a project that is slated for completion in November. In 2017, the agency plans to begin making improvements to the Clifton shop and yard. In addition, SIR is in the process of adding service to coincide with the addition of Staten Island Ferry service.


Part 1: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Preface


Part 2: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Amtrak and transit agencies in California


Part 3: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Colorado and Florida


Part 4: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Georgia, Illinois and Missouri


Part 5: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in New York


Part 6: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Tennessee and Texas


Part 7: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Transit agencies in Virginia and the state of Washington


Part 8: Passenger Rail at a Glance 2014: Metrolinx in Ontario, Canada

previous page next page


Browse articles on MTA Long Island Rail Road Metro-North Railroad New York City Transit Staten Island Railway

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.