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Hochul rides the first leg of Long Island Rail Road's new third track

Don Pollard
Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by leaders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on a ceremonial first ride, announced the opening of the first section of the Long Island Rail Road's new Main Line Third Track.

The first section of the Long Island Rail Road's new Third Track is now in service.

Construction began in September 2018 and cost about $2.6 billion. The long-awaited upgrade was planned and debated for almost 70 years.

Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by joined by leaders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was on Long Island to ride the rail upgrade on Monday.

“So when you add it all up, we have Third Track improvements to over seven rail bridges, new signal equipment, switches and we're going to have more frequent trips as well,” Hochul said. “We're going to increase service for Hyde Park alone by 67%.”

Hochul said the new track will increase service and reduce delays. She added that the MTA will also upgrade trains with new features, including phone charging stations and Wi-Fi.

Don Pollard

“We’ve had too many delays with signalization, something we focused on,” Hochul said. “And also addressing quality of life issues. I mean, people need to be connected, have WIFI and handicap accessibility and ADA compliant tracks. So on this track, you’re not going to see many delays.”

The first section of track includes Queens Village to Merillon Avenue in Garden City. The second section, with service to Carle Place, is scheduled to open on Aug. 29.

Construction will continue to stretch the third track between Floral Park and Hickville.

"Long Island leaders have talked for generations about adding a third track and finally it's here,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. “The MTA is investing billions in Long Island and the results are clear: more frequent service and greater reliability, along with first-ever reverse commuting service to give Long Island businesses access to a much bigger labor pool."

Molly is a news fellow, working on the Long Story Short, Higher Ground, and other podcasts at WSHU.