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Amtrak approves feasibility study of possible rail service to Long Island

An Amtrak logo is seen on a train

An Amtrak logo is seen on a train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia,  Feb. 6, 2014. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

Amtrak on Friday formally approved a plan to study the feasibility of bringing its intercity rail service to Long Island.

Amtrak and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced in January it had reached a deal on the joint-study, but it required approval from the Amtrak board of directors, which met Friday and voted in favor of the plan.

In a statement, Amtrak senior executive vice president Stephen Gardner said Amtrak is looking forward to working with the MTA “on advancing direct Amtrak service to and from key population centers on Long Island.”

The study aims to examine the possibility of linking Nassau and/or Suffolk to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which stretches from Washington, D.C., to Boston, using the Long Island Rail Road’s tracks. Amtrak said such a link “will allow for through and connecting service from Long Island to other Amtrak destinations throughout region, the Northeast Corridor and the Nation.”

Also Friday, Amtrak approved moving ahead with a plan to bring Metro-North Railroad to Penn Station, including by advancing the design and eventual construction of additional infrastructure on Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line in the Bronx.

Metro-North's debut at Penn Station would coincide with the opening of East Side Access, which would bring the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal. That project is scheduled for completion in 2022.

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