LIRR RONKONKOMA - FARMINGDALE DOUBLE TRACK PROJECT
OVERVIEW

Over the past 25 years, ridership on the Ronkonkoma Branch has doubled with close to 48,000 customers each weekday. With only one track along 13 miles of the 17-mile stretch between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, there was a significant risk to reliable service and on-time performance in the event of a service disruption: The Double Track Project is a 21st century solution for crowd reduction, delay prevention and service improvements.

The Double Track Project has introduced 13 miles of a brand-new second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. Construction of an uninterrupted second track on the Ronkonkoma Line has been part of the LIRR’s vision for decades – the project also includes new platforms and station rehabilitation at Pinelawn and Wyandanch Stations, as well as procurement, testing and installation of new signal equipment for the entire Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma segment.

In addition to the new track, the project includes new platforms and station rehabilitation at Pinelawn and Wyandanch Stations, as well as procurement, testing and installation of new signal equipment for the entire Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma segment.. The $431 million project was completed on an expedited schedule thanks to an innovative track-laying technology that lays rail 10 times faster than before, which, combined with a productive design-build approach, put this project on course for completion by the end of Summer 2018. 

This view looking west, shows the stretch of single-track main line between the Pinelawn and Wyandanch stations on the 
LIRR's Ronkonkoma branch. (April 16, 2012) Photo Credit Newsday-John Paraskevas

The first trains are entering 14 months ahead of the original construction schedule, which was accelerated in 2016 at Governor Cuomo’s direction. Early completion of the project has freed up LIRR resources for other projects in support of LIRR’s expansion and modernization, like Positive Train Control, East Side Access, Main Line Third Track and Ronkonkoma Yard.

Double Track, in conjunction with East Side Access and the Main Line Third Track projects, will unlock this region’s true potential. LIRR can now provide better access to Brookhaven National Laboratory and Long Island MacArthur Airport; a second track gives this branch the capacity possibilities Suffolk County needs to grow, allowing transit-oriented development to function optimally and encourage smart growth near train stations.  Info: MTA


Timeline 
Phase 1: Ronkonkoma to Central Islip segment: Completed - August 2016
Phase 2: Central Islip to Farmingdale segment: Underway, Anticipated Completion - 2018

Why are they building it from Ronkonkoma west instead of Farmingdale east? Thus:
A Long Island Rail Road project to install a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma will start at least two years ahead of schedule thanks to a new boost in state funding, officials said.

In accelerating funding for the MTA's five-year capital plan, the State Legislature last month included $138 million for the "double track" plan, which would add a second line along 12.6 miles of single-track territory in Western Suffolk.

When it first proposed its 2009-2014 capital plan, the LIRR included the $138 million to design and begin building the second track. But when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority cut $2 billion in capital spending in 2010, the LIRR was left with only $30 million for project design and was forced to delay construction until at least 2015. Info: Alfonso A. Castillo


Ronkonkoma-Farmingdale Double Track Project diagram  8/29/2015 Archive: Jeff Smith

Ronkonkoma-Farmingdale Double Track Project diagram 5/2018 Archive: Matthew Kobel
PROJECT COMPLETION

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has laid the final 5 miles of rail for its double-track project, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced late last week.

The $387.2 million project calls for adding a second track on LIRR's line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, New York. With just one track along that 18-mile stretch at present, the LIRR can only operate a limited number of trains and lacks operational flexibility during disruptions.

The double-track project is expected to cut down on delays by enabling trains to pass disruptions. In addition, the project will enable the LIRR to provide more frequent off-peak service on the Ronkonkoma Branch in both directions, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office.

The project is being completed in two phases. The first phase, which involved laying 3.5 miles of new track between Central Islip and Ronkonkoma, wrapped up in August 2016. The second phase includes laying the rest of the track between Farmingdale and Central Islip.

Over the next several months, crews will add stone ballast and perform tamping and surfacing. Workers also will install the third rail and a new signal system.

"For decades, leaders have talked about adding a second track to the Ronkonkoma Branch and today we are moving a major step closer to getting it done," Cuomo said. "By pairing design-build contracting with the use of innovative track-laying equipment, we are building a more robust infrastructure faster and at less expense to New Yorkers."

Over the past 25 years, ridership has doubled on the Ronkonkoma Branch, which now serves more than 48,000 passengers each weekday. Source MTA 1/15/2018


Ronkonkoma 
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Ronkonkoma Overpass MP48 view W 1/17/2015 
Photo/Archive: Joe McMahon
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Ronkonkoma, Pond Rd  MP47.5 view W 1/17/2015 
Photo/Archive: Joe McMahon
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Ronkonkoma, Pond Rd 2 tracks view W 5/11/2016
Photo/Archive: Joe McMahon 
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Ocean Ave., Ronkonkoma single track at MP47 View E 
LIRR #601 8/1972 Photo/Archive: Mike Woodruff
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MOW Little Giant Crane - TC-90 at  MP47 west of Ronkonkoma - View SW  Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
Central Islip 
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Islip Ave., Central Islip View NW 11/18/2017 
Photo/Archive:  Matthew Kobel

Central slip - Post gantry removal 4/11/2018 
Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
Central-Islip_5-2018_EdHand.jpg (88663 bytes)

The pedestal signals are colored, not position light, where the CI1 signal bridge stood. Those signals are temporary because the new Central Islip Interlocking will be located in between the Peters Blvd. and Islip Ave. crossings. CI2 will be taken out sometime in the next few months hopefully, but they have to connect the second track and it has to be in service. Matt Kobel

Brentwood
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Brentwood single track view W M7 #7196  
2/05/2016  Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
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Brentwood View E - Double Track Project 8/2018
Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
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Brentwood temporary station
9/13/2018 Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
Wyandanch
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Wyandanch Station View NE 10/24/2017 
Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison
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Wyandanch Pedestrian Bridge location at track level  12/14/2017 Photo/Archive Edward Hand
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Wyandanch Station - MP35 View W 3/25/2018
Archive: Jeff Erlitz
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Wyandanch Pedestrian Bridge construction 4/2018 
Photo/Archive Edward Hand
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Wyandanch Station - MP35 View W 9/01/2018
 Photo/Archive: Edward Hand
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Wyandanch Station - MP35 View W 12/01/2018
Photo/Archive: William J. Skeats
Pinelawn
Pinelawn-raze_ _11-18-2017_EdwardHand Pinelawn looking West towards Wellwood Avenue.jpg (147843 bytes)
Pinelawn view W towards Wellwood Ave. 11/18/2017 Photo/Archive Edward Hand
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Pinelawn raze view E 11/18/2017 Photo/Archive Edward Hand
New South platform at Pinelawn taking shape looking West. 2-01-2018 ed hand.jpg (136963 bytes)
Pinelawn - New south platform taking shape View W 2/01/2018 Photo/Archive Edward Hand
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Pinelawn View E 9/2018 Photo/Archive Edward Hand
Farmingdale
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Farmingdale Station -Closed for renovations View NW 10/16/2018 Photo/Archive: Bill Mangahas
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Farmingdale new signals install 3/19/2019 
Photo/Archive: Bill Mangahas
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Farmingdale new signals - 3/29/2019 
Photo/Archive: Michael Kam