MTA Construction & Development and the LIRR have completed major construction on two vital LIRR facilities – the Morris Park Diesel Locomotive Shop in Queens and the Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard in Ronkonkoma, Long Island.
Part of the multi-billion dollar LIRR Enhancement that includes the LIRR Expansion Project, the Morris Park shop maintains and overhauls diesel locomotives. As the name implies, the Mid-Suffolk Yard stores and services electric trains when they are not in use.
The Morris Park facility’s upgrades include the installation of new maintenance bays, employee facilities, parts storage and wayside power for shop tracks. The new shop is completely enclosed, with roll-up doors to enable entry and exit of trains. Other work included a new roof with skylights; HVAC including air handlers, exhaust fans and heating units; drop tables, turntables and truck hoists; and boilers.
The new shop will enable LIRR personnel to work on four locomotives at once, which will increase turnaround time dramatically and increase the reliability and lifespan of the fleet. Diesel locomotives are used on the Port Jefferson Branch east of Huntington, the Ronkonkoma Branch east of Ronkonkoma, the Oyster Bay Branch, and the Montauk Branch.
The newly expanded Mid-Suffolk Storage Yard will provide additional space to store, maintain, inspect, service, and clean electric train cars. With COVID-19 still a serious health issue, cleaning of trains has become vital in combating the disease. The yard features 11 additional tracks, each with capacity for a 12-car train set.
The Mid-Suffolk yard will enable an increase in service on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the morning rush by nearly 50 percent when East Side Access opens under Grand Central Terminal at the end of 2022. A new employee facility is now in use at Mid-Suffolk.
These projects will ultimately make travel between Long Island and New York City more reliable and comfortable for LIRR customers.