Gov. Hochul, MTA celebrate completion of LIRR main line third track

Gov. Kathy Hochul and MTA officials Monday morning announced the completion of the $2.6 billion Long Island Rail Road third track project.
The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville -- giving the railroad more operational flexibility.
The track also includes more Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, more cameras to keep you safe and more commuter parking.
"What does this mean for Long Islanders? Well, it's great, they all start with the letter F -- fewer delays, faster commutes and more frequent trips," said Hochul.
The third track project is part of the LIRR main line expansion project, which officials say now only has minor station work left to complete.
Riders won't see major changes to schedules immediately. New schedules won't go into effect until East Side Access and Grand Central Madison are complete later this year. Advocates still say the project that runs next to the main line from Floral Park to Hicksville will help commuters immediately by reducing delays when trains get stuck or slowed down.
"Right now as of today we can operate three tracks the additional capacity is huge," said Gerard Bringmann, from the LIRR Commuters Council.
That additional capacity will eventually help the LIRR add more reverse commute options plus increase train frequency across the board at a time when ridership is below pre-pandemic levels.
"All those people living in New York City and from places to the west who really didn't have that much service coming out in the morning will have a lot more service," said MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber.
There have been a lot of service disruptions, especially on the weekends, for construction on the third track. Even though it is complete, the MTA says to expect some more service interruptions in the future as they work on other parts of the system not related to the third track.