A report by the office of the state comptroller, Tom...

A report by the office of the state comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, found that LIRR platforms at Penn Station are in need of repair and rail car projects are incomplete. However, an improved breakdown rate has resulted in a better experience for riders. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Train platforms in bad shape at Penn Station because they haven’t gotten sufficient attention. Rail car projects that are incomplete. But an improved breakdown rate resulting in a better experience for riders.

Those were among the findings in a report released Thursday by the office of the state comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, analyzing transit needs in the coming decades for the Long Island Rail Road and its parent, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The report, which examined the railroads and subways, found that the MTA spent $822 million since 2013 at Penn, most of it on the new widened concourse.

Meanwhile, the report found: “All of the platforms that the LIRR is responsible for maintaining at Penn Station are in poor or marginal condition and have received minimal capital funding in recent Years.”

The report, which examined the MTA’s 20-Year Needs Assessment, also found that the railroad’s replacement of its oldest cars “has run into delays and performance issues may be associated with the fleet average age increasing from 12 years old in 2013 to 18 years old in 2022,” the comptroller’s office wrote in a news release.

In response to the report, the MTA issued a statement that did not address the comptroller’s findings, but said: “This 20-Year Needs Assessment is the most comprehensive in MTA history, laying out in great detail the urgent need for continued investment in the transit system. It will provide a vital framework as we develop the next 5 Year Plan — including cost estimates — to address needs like state of good repair, resilience, and accessibility.”

The report credited the LIRR for introducing new cars that improved the average breakdown rate from every 151,950 miles in October 2019 to every 193,968 miles in October of 2023.

“The MTA’s plan to continue replacing its oldest cars and expand the LIRR fleet should support service increases made possible by the opening of service into Grand Central Madison,” the release said.

The comptroller’s report also suggested that the LIRR reconsider spending to focus on power, finding that a “disparity between what was needed and what is currently being spent for power-related assets has resulted in the increasing age of the substations as well as the declining condition of some of the electrical third rail.”

In a statement accompanying the release of the report, DiNapoli said: “The list of repairs and upgrades needed in our regional transit systems can seem endless, but funds are limited. As the MTA prepares its next capital plan and sets priorities for work, it should remain focused on riders’ experience by improving safety, reliability and frequency of service.”

Among the items listed in the 20-year needs assessment: rebuilding the railroad’s tunnel to Brooklyn, buying 340 new LIRR rail cars and repainting dozens of the railroad’s most rusty and worn bridges.

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