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Rail News: Passenger Rail

LIRR to reach 175th anniversary in April


MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is nearing its 175th anniversary.

Chartered on April 24, 1834, LIRR is the oldest U.S. railroad still operating under its original name and the country's busiest commuter railroad, the agency says. Last year, LIRR carried 87.4 million passengers.

The railroad operates 735 trains daily on more than 700 track miles across 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk on the eastern tip of Long Island to Penn Station in Manhattan, and serves 124 stations.

As it celebrates its past, LIRR is preparing for the future with the East Side Access project, which will extend the railroad to Grand Central Terminal. The 12-year, $6.3 billion project calls for connecting a new tunnel in Queens to the existing 63rd Street tunnel beneath the East River. LIRR also will build a new tunnel from the western end of the 63rd Street tunnel at Second Avenue, which will run under Park Avenue to Grand Central. The new connection will save east-bound commuters up to 40 minutes of travel time daily, according to LIRR.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/25/2009