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Letter: Hoppe oversaw key LIRR construction

An improved financial outlook from just four months

An improved financial outlook from just four months ago will allow the MTA to spend more than $200 million on service and maintenance improvements, including needed fixes to Long Island Rail Road train cars, agency officials said Wednesday. Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

There’s more to the story of Charles Hoppe, the recently deceased former president of the Long Island Rail Road [“He guided LIRR into a new era,” News, Dec. 26].

As LIRR president from 1990 to 1994, he inherited construction of the Hillside Maintenance Facility when it was many months behind schedule and $100 million over budget.

Hoppe restored the federal government’s confidence in the LIRR’s capacity for management of construction projects, and the Federal Transit Administration went on to provide $200 million for Penn Station improvements.

That project, and construction of the Harold Interlocking junction in Queens were successfully completed on time, within budget and without significant change orders to the construction contracts.

In the eyes of many transportation experts, Hoppe moved the LIRR capital improvements program from the dog house to the penthouse.

Larry Penner, Great Neck