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LIRR touts $25M wash facility in Babylon

Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams was

Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams was joined by Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino and other public officials to welcome the $25.5 million train wash facility at the Babylon station. (Oct. 16, 2012) Credit: Johnny Milano

The Long Island Rail Road Tuesday unveiled a new $25.5-million train-wash facility in Babylon Village that railroad and elected officials touted as the model of a successful stimulus-funded project.

The state-of-the-art operation was built just east of the Babylon train station, adjacent to the E. Donald Conroy Golf Course. It will be used to wash about 320 train cars a day.

Construction on the project, funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, started in May 2010. It was completed on budget and on time, and created 350 jobs on-site and off-site, LIRR president Helena Williams said.

"We were shovel-ready and we did create jobs," Williams said at a dedication ceremony. "We were putting Long Island people to work to build this Long Island-based project."

The automated wash is activated when a train enters. Detergents, brushes and high-powered water jets soap up, scrub down and rinse off train cars as they pass through. LIRR officials said the facility includes several environmentally features, including solar roof panels and a system that allows 70 percent of water to be reused.

Williams said clean trains are important not only for customers, but also for extending the lives of the cars.

The new facility replaces a dilapidated train wash on the site that was built in the 1970s and demolished as part of the new project construction. The LIRR operates another train wash in Ronkonkoma.

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