LIRR Completes Major Clean-Up of Track Area in Jamaica

<p>Nearly 200 cubic yards of trash and more than 400 old rail ties have been removed from the track area in and around Jamaica Station, completing one of the largest clean-up projects in the history of MTA Long Island Rail Road.</p><p>The work was carried out by LIRR track maintenance workers over two weekends in October and November while a state-of-the-art switch and signal control system was being installed at Jamaica, a critical hub for the Railroad.</p><p>The massive changeover from manual switching to a computer controlled operation required the LIRR to curtail service over the weekends of October 23 and 24 and November 6 and 7. But the reduction of train traffic through Jamaica and provided a window for the Railroad to do some long overdue housecleaning.</p><p>"The Jamaica Modernization Project gave us a cost-effective opportunity to conduct a concerted clean up effort," said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. "We were able to accomplish the removal of 197 cubic yards of trash and debris and 429 old wooden railroad ties. It was a remarkable effort by our workforce our customers are already noticing."</p><p align="center"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/IMG00451-20101106-1244_7.jpg"></p><p>Jamaica is the LIRR's busiest switching point and the channel through which 10 of its 11 branches converge. In fact, with some 600 passenger trains arriving and departing on eight tracks every weekday, it is also one of the busiest commuter hubs in the nation.</p><p>The years of accumulated debris also included old running rail, track gauge plates, pipe, spikes, 3rd rail brackets and running rail fasteners - much of which will be sold for scrap, a source of income that helps pay for the clean-up.</p><p align="center"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/LIRRMain2_2_2.jpg"></p><p>About 30 LIRR employees cleaned the track area using heavy machinery, dumpsters, rakes, picks and elbow grease, working the first weekend on the east side of Jamaica Station as switch and signal work proceeded on the west end. As part of the clean-up, crews will also remove a number of unsightly trailers that had been used by track workers west of the station. During last weekend, as the modernization project continued to the east of Jamaica Station, crews began hauling away debris in the area west of Jamaica.</p><p>With 701 miles of track to maintain from Manhattan to Montauk, cleaning the right-of-way is an ongoing project for the LIRR, as is regular maintenance of its 124 train stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan</p>