ABC7 Traffic Center

LIRR service back to normal on Monday

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Long Island Railroad expects a normal Monday morning commute after a second weekend of massive service delays.

The LIRR has been upgrading signals and switches at the Jamaica Station.

Agency officials say the $56-million dollar upgrade was successful.

Severely curtailed service also occurred on Oct. 23-24.

The Jamaica Signal cutover project consisted of installing a new microprocessor technology signal system in the three interlockings (signal and switching areas) that control train movement through Jamaica.

These three interlockings are called Jay, Dunton and Hall. Upon completion of the project - which requires these two 48-hour weekend service disruptions  signals and switches were controlled from one facility, Jamaica Central Control; instead of the three towers located in each of these interlockings.

The project brings state-of-the-art technology to this critical LIRR location by replacing the 1910's-era electro-mechanical Model 14 Interlocking Machines at the three towers with a modern microprocessor based system.

The new more reliable system will increase operational flexibility for the large volume of trains that pass through this area, helping to reduce customer delays.

The new system also will provide redundant signal control systems and will allow for quicker recovery time in the event of a power surge, or lightning storm or fire-related service disruption like those experienced last month when high voltage power entered the signal system and damaged the wiring to the signal control board in Jamaica's Hall Tower.

The cost of the project is approximately $56-million. Funding is provided by the MTA Capital Program.

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