I enjoyed the recent comments by Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri and several other elected officials about extending the electrified train service farther east ["Jolt to the economy," News, Feb. 25].
Since the 1970s, I've been traveling to Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road and traveling America on Amtrak.
I could not agree more about the benefits of further electrifying the LIRR. Trains continue to be the most environmentally sustainable way to travel, but our nation is behind many other countries with regard to the quality of our railroads. Around the world, there are many fully electrified railroads. However, in New York, electrifying the eastern LIRR branches is large project could take years to complete at a tremendous cost.
A more affordable and immediate solution would be for the LIRR to purchase additional diesel-electric locomotives that go all the way into Penn Station from out here in "diesel country." On the South Shore, there are only two of these trains on early weekday mornings heading west, and a single eastbounder from Penn at 5:09 p.m.
If there were more of these trains in each direction on the Montauk and Port Jefferson branches, there could be a lot more one-seat rides into Manhattan.
Christopher Capobianco, Patchogue
Editor's note: The writer is a member of the National Association of Rail Passengers.