NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As two 640-ton machine began boring four tunnels to connect Long Island Railroad’s main line to the Grand Central Terminal, officials did a little celebrating and bragging.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

MTA chairman Jay Walder said the $7.3 billion project will allow the LIRR to increase the number of trains going into Manhattan by 41 percent and will reduce commuter times by up to 40 minutes for 160,000 people.

“This is the single largest infrastructure project in the United States of America,” Walder said. “We should be proud of that.”

Railroad President Helena Williams said the project gives commuters another choice.

“We will be able to offer for the first time in 100 years a second Manhattan terminal,” she said. “Customers will have a choice: they can go to Penn or Grand Central from their home station. That will shorten people’s commute.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Comments (8)
  1. howco says:

    This project is a huge waste of money. If LIRR provided, expanded, and upgraded service all the time to Hunters Point and Long Island City, a simple maximum two-block walk to #7 Flushing line can get you to GCT just as well. LIRR ridership is down, service is reduced, and fares have skyrocketed since this idea was first proposed many years ago. The people who originally wanted this have long passed from the scene.
    The project should be stopped, and all construction money and personnel should be diverted to completing the so-desperately-needed Second Avenue Subway all the way from Harlem to Hanover Square.

    1. jon says:

      An expansion of the LIRR to Grand Central would be the most important project completed by the MTA since the opening of Penn Station. It would save LI commuters at least 25 minutes walking time from Penn Station to the East side, not to mention the subway fare for those that prefer it.

      The Second Avenue Subway line is the real WASTE OF TIME in the City. I have a newsflash for those commuters that are waiting for its completion: THE LEXINGTON AVENUE SUBWAY IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.

  2. ray says:

    7,300,000,000 divided by 160,000 = 45,625 per person , makes perfect sense to do this.

  3. bobby says:

    staterment,dunps, nmanufacturing

    Well let’s lay off some more teachers like the ones you had.

    1. nathan says:

      bobby – illiterate much?

  4. nathan says:

    why are the tunnels so boring? what? ohhhhh…nevermind 🙂

  5. Re says:


    That is truly a sad staterment as it proves once again that the US economy is in the dunps as concerns industrial and nmanufacturing projects and capability. Like, what else equal to this project is going on within even North America? and what about those so-called ‘shovel-ready’ government project that Bam-Bam so enthusiastically talked about? Maybe our bohemian president shout have started out in life as a landscaper, because he must love digging America in a ditch!

    1. bb says:

      your humor is as tihin as as a squirrel caught eating on a train rail – after the commuters pass over it of course.

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