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Letter: LIRR third-track project is overdue

A LIRR train comes into Floral Park station

A LIRR train comes into Floral Park station Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The two tracks on the right in this picture diverge from the other line shortly after the station and bisect the village of Floral Park. The MTA is proposing to add another track to the main line after the station. The Village of Floral Park is concerned that a proposed third track for the LIRR line that runs next to the community's pool and recreation complex will have a negative impact on the village. Photo Credit: Chuck Fadely

“Another weekday, another delay for Long Island Rail Road commuters.” That should have been the title for the Oct. 6 news story “After latest delays, MTA touts 3rd track.”

On my Oct. 5 commute, I sat on a delayed train for 2½ hours. So I was particularly interested in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s statement that the third-track project presents a solution for incidents such as the broken rail that snarled service.

As chairman of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council, I have long advocated the importance of investing in the LIRR, so I was encouraged to see the MTA acknowledge the third track as a path to better reliability. It is unconscionable that in 2016, with hundreds of thousands of daily commuters, the LIRR relies on only two tracks.

A third track would add much-needed capacity, but also allow two-way traffic to continue during similar incidents. Get this project started and move toward ending the nightmare of delayed and canceled trains.

Mark J. Epstein, Melville


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