37° Good Afternoon
37° Good Afternoon

Letters: Maintain existing LIRR equipment first

An LIRR train disappears into a tunnel westbound

An LIRR train disappears into a tunnel westbound on the way to Penn Station via an East River tunnel under the 49th Avenue underpass in Hunter's Point, Queens onMay 11, 2011. Credit: Craig Ruttle

For most of a week, Long Island Rail Road workers toiled to replace a signal box that was crushed in a March 29 derailment west of Wyandanch station ["LIRR working on signal box," News, April 2]. Tens of thousands of commuters waited through delays and cancellations as a result.

The destroyed device had 30-year-old components no longer in production. The box contains circuitry for three crossings and the railroad's speed-control system. How could something so critical be so outdated?

Rather than spend billions of dollars to connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal so people won't have to walk a couple blocks, why isn't the Metropolitan Transportation Authority spending money to make sure the existing infrastructure works? Crews shouldn't have to go back to 30-year-old documents and scramble to build something from scratch that controls how hundreds of thousand of riders use trains every day.

Michael Connor, Centereach


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.