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Long IslandTransportation

Long Island Rail Road: 'In better position' to respond to storm

Long Island Rail Road officials said Saturday that several recent measures they've taken to strengthen their system should make a difference in this weekend's storm.

As part of the agency's LIRR Forward initiative launched last spring, the railroad has installed 60 switch covers to shield critical track switches from snow, ice and rain -- reducing the potential for switch-related delays.

The railroad has also new heaters to protect more than 13,000 feet of electrified third rail from freezing over.

And to reduce the potential for tree limbs and utility poles to fall on tracks, the railroad has cleared over 220 miles of overgrown vegetation along its right of way over the last year and worked with PSEG Long Island to replace 80 utility poles.

The railroad said it's also replaced 2,400 threshold plates on train doors -- reducing malfunctions caused by ice and snow buildup in doorways.

“By aggressively addressing issues that are in our control, we will be in a better position to operate and respond when things occur that are out of our control occur, like Mother Nature’s winter wrath" railroad president Phillip Eng said. "I thank our employees for their hard work over the past seven months to get us to this point.”

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