Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
Senator Jack M. Martins and Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams met at the Hicksville LIRR station on Tuesday, July 31 and reviewed plans for the improvement of the station that the railroad believes will significantly improve service and customer satisfaction for Long Island commuters.
Martins and Williams both indicated how important the Hicksville LIRR station is to commuters as the busiest station in Nassau County where both the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch and the Ronkonkoma Branch converge into what the MTA calls the Main Line.
“I’m glad the LIRR is directing money into improving service for our commuters here in Nassau County. Since Hicksville is a major transportation hub, it stands to reason that an effort be made to improve not only the station itself but also enhance service. I want to thank LIRR President Helena Williams for her efforts in working to improve service and convenience for many who rely on the railroad,” said Senator Martins.
The LIRR has set aside slightly upwards of $106 million, a significant commitment to Hicksville, in capital funds to improve the aesthetic look of the station as well as service and reliability for customers.
“I would like to thank Senator Martins for his support of this project that will transform the LIRR’s Hicksville Station into a renewed and modernized facility,” said Williams, adding, “The improvements planned for Hicksville, totaling more than $106 million, will make for a brighter commute for our customers and we welcome community input as we go forward. The signal and siding improvements at Hicksville will benefit thousands of customers who use this critical transit hub and those that pass through this important junction each day.”
The current elevated station, which was built in 1962, is showing its age and is plagued by poor drainage and cracked concrete as well elevators and escalators that are reaching their life expectancy. Though the street level ticket office was expanded and modernized about a decade ago, the rest of the station complex needs attention.
The LIRR has set aside $55.1 million for the Hicksville Station facelift, which will include new station platforms, platform waiting rooms, canopies, stairways, platform lighting, elevators, escalators and a state-of-the-art audio and digital communications systems.
Another improvement on tap for Hicksville is a $37.7 million project that calls for the installation of more than 3,000 feet of new track, power and signal work. This effort will connect Track 1 at Hicksville to an existing track siding situated about one-half mile west of the station platform. The connection will enable the LIRR to add three trains to the a.m. and p.m. peak service between Hicksville and Manhattan when Grand Central Terminal opens to the LIRR with the completion of the East Side Access project at the end of the decade. It will also improve the railroad’s ability to reroute trains in the event of maintenance, construction or service disruptions.
Finally, the LIRR will spend an additional $13.8 million to modernize the signal system at Divide Tower, located just east of Hicksville Station. Divide controls all train movement on the Huntington/Port Jefferson and the Ronkonkoma Branches east of Hicksville.
Construction is expected to take place between 2014 and 2016 with signal work being estimated for completion the following year.