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MTA Long Island Rail Road Awards Contract to Upgrade a Vital Interlocking Near Queens Village

Long Island Rail Road
Updated December 15, 2021 9:45 p.m.
A Long Island Rail Road train on a track with a field in the foreground and sky in the background.

New Switches & Signal System Will Enhance the Main Line and Service To/From New Elmont-UBS Arena Station


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board today approved a contract to Hitachi Rail STS, USA Inc., for the creation and installation of a new signal system at a complex of switches near Queens Village that will enable the Long Island Rail Road to improve and increase service along the Main Line between Hicksville and Floral Park, and help the new Elmont-UBS Arena Station become a two-way full service stop. The switching complex is known as the Queens Interlocking.

“This project advances upgrades necessary to create a completely modern switch and signal system for the Long Island Rail Road,” said Jamie Torres-Springer, President of MTA Construction & Development. “With the LIRR Expansion and East Side Access projects on the horizon a modern switch and signal system will allow these projects to realize their full potential for more reliable, redundant, and safe service for riders."

“Upgrading the Queens Interlocking is a vital component to unlock the full potential of a trifecta of projects: Mainline Expansion, East Side Access and the new Elmont-UBS Arena Station. As our riders continue to return, they are going to experience a new LIRR,” said Phil Eng, President of MTA Long Island Rail Road. “Accomplishing this work in one of our busiest corridors while running over 200 trains daily through these work zones is testament to the ingenuity of our workforce. These new switches and signals will add redundancy, reliability and operational flexibility as we provide improved service for our customers while keeping an eye on future needs and changing ridership patterns. We’re excited for all that’s still to come for the LIRR and Long Island.”

Queens Interlocking is divided into five separate remote control interlockings that manage switching on the active tracks and provides switching access to LIRR’s new Elmont Station/UBS Station. The Contract provides for the design, fabrication, assembly, delivery, systems integration and testing of a new signal system for Queens Interlocking, including pre-wired central instrument locations (“CILs”), auxiliary huts, track cases, switches, signals and ancillary equipment. The Design-Builder will also set and secure the assembled CILs and auxiliary huts at the Project site. LIRR Force Account will install all wayside signal and switch equipment and connect all cables to the CILs and auxiliary huts.

This design-build project is part of the MTA’s 2015-2019 Capital Program.