Major Clean-Up of LIRR Track Area Under Way in Jamaica
Years of Accumulated Debris Removed During Jamaica Modernization Project
MTA Long Island Rail Road employees hauled away 85 cubic yards of debris this past weekend from the track area in and around Jamaica Station, the first of a two-step clean-up of the LIRR right-of-way at one of the busiest commuter hubs in the nation.
LIRR workers used heavy machinery, dumpsters, rakes and old-fashioned elbow grease during the 48-hour Jamaica Modernization Project, taking advantage of less train traffic to do the cleaning.
Some 30 LIRR employees cleared the track area east of Jamaica Station removing 350 old railroad ties as well as old running rail, track gauge plates, pipe, spikes, 3rd rail brackets and running rail fasteners.
Next month, during the second Jamaica Modernization Weekend of November 6-7, LIRR forces will turn their attention to cleaning the west end of the station.
"We have a duty to our customers and the environment to maintain our property," said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. "The modernization gave us a cost-effective opportunity to conduct a concerted clean-up effort."
The clean up began at 6 AM on Saturday and continued through the day during installation of the new computerized central switch and signal control system.
With 700 miles of track, cleaning the right-of-way is an ongoing effort. In some cases, debris has accumulated along the track bed over many years.
"A clean-up of the track area is something our customers have been requesting for some time and we are pleased we are now able to accomplish this during the modernization project," said Williams. "We ask customers to do their part in helping to keep our stations and tracks clean."
The LIRR asks customers to deposit newspapers, cups, containers and other trash in the proper receptacles and never throw debris on the tracks as that can cause track fires.