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LIRR Completes New $56M Modernization Project

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Inside the LIRR's new high-tech control center at Jamaica Station. (Photo/Peter Haskell)

Inside the LIRR’s new high-tech control center at Jamaica Station. (Photo/Peter Haskell)

haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – After a weekend of inconvenience, the Long Island Railroad has completed its transition to a new high-tech control center in Jamaica.

LIRR President Helena Williams said the completion “signals a new era of switch control for the LIRR at a critical junction” and meant “better reliability for our customers.”

Lead transportation manager Steve Hurst showed off the new Jamaica Station control room to reporters including WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell checks out the new system that controls the LIRR

The room featured an entire wall acting as giant computer monitor, showing every track, switch and signal. The new system is much different than the century-old technology that was previously used for switching trains.

“We had a train director that talked to a leverman who routed the trains. Now we have the train directors routing the trains,” Hurst said.

“They basically…it’s your computer at home. Like Windows. You click on an entrance and go to an exit. And the whole route lines up,” Hurst told Haskell.

There are backups if there’s a problem.

The transit agency said the $56 million project will increase flexibility for the large number of trains passing through the area and reduce delays.

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