If you take the Babylon Branch as a weekend rider, chances are you had to board a bus last weekend, February 29-March 1, so that we could get some pretty critical work done.
But what exactly did we do? You may have heard we were working on something called the ‘Massapequa Pocket Track.’ But …
What exactly is a pocket track?
A pocket track is a separate, shorter segment of railroad track that allows trains to park, if even just for a short time to allow another train to pass, off the main segment of track.
Why is this important?
Our crews were busy working on the signal system that, when the project in its entirety is finished, will allow us to operate trains on this new part of infrastructure. This particular pocket track will provide us with greater flexibility and increased capacity along the Babylon Branch, especially as we get closer to opening day of East Side Access and begin running LIRR service to Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan’s East Side.
That’s not all.
As the LIRR continues to expand, it means we need to build new (and sometimes rebuild existing) infrastructure to meet increased train demand. In this case, that means more power. At the same time we were working on signals in Massapequa, crews were also in Freeport working on the Meadowbrook Substation, an integral component of the rail infrastructure system that provides power to the trains and will ultimately support future growth of the LIRR. Completed work included putting supervisory control online, cutting over new track circuits, performing FRA testing, signal routing test and operational testing.
For more information about the modernization of the Long Island Rail Road, please visit AModernLI.com.