MTA Press Releases

Press Release
September 22, 2014
IMMEDIATE
MTA LIRR Investing $14 Million in Safer, Wider and More Durable Escalators at 6 Stations on Busy Babylon Branch
Two-Year Plan Calls for Phase 1 Installation at Amityville, Lindenhurst and Baldwin, Followed by Phase 2 at Rockville Centre, Freeport and Copiague

MTA Long Island Rail Road President Patrick Nowakowski announced today that the LIRR is investing $14 million toward the installation of new, safer, wider and more durable escalators at six stations on the Babylon Branch, the latest in a series of service upgrades the Railroad has made to ensure that escalators and elevators are operating at peak efficiency systemwide.

“Our customers rightly expect the escalators and elevators at our stations to be in good working order to move them safely between ground level and our elevated platforms,” said Nowakowski. “Over the last two years, the LIRR has significantly upgraded its escalator and elevator service, beginning in 2012 with a system wide evaluation followed by a major overhaul of 11 units which was completed in 2013 and now the planned replacement of escalators at our stations, first at Amityville, Lindenhurst and Baldwin and then to Rockville Center, Freeport and Copiague, all by the summer of 2016.”

The six stations were identified as the locations with units most in need of replacement. All had been in use well beyond their expected lifespan.

New Escalators Will Be State of the Art

The new all-weather, heavy-duty escalators will be equipped centralized monitoring capabilities; obstruction detection systems and sleep mode technology to reduce energy consumption and wear during low usage periods. The wind-screen enclosures surrounding the escalators will be improved, as will the machine rooms, electrical devices, and lighting. Also, where possible, the escalators will widened from 24 inches to 32 inches.

A construction contract for $9.3 million for the installation of the six new escalators was awarded last month to LoDuca Associates of Long Island. Related support work will be done by LIRR forces for a little under $5 million. Construction will occur in two phases with Amityville, Lindenhurst and Baldwin stations getting new escalators during Phase 1, which is scheduled for completion by middle of 2015. Phase 2 of the project will involve installation at Freeport, Copiague and Rockville Centre with completion expected during the summer of 2016.

LIRR Escalator Availability Is Much Improved

As the third quarter of 2014 comes to an end, escalator availability at the LIRR was at 97.8%, up from a low of 71% in the third quarter of 2012, shortly after the Railroad shut down 11 escalators in need of major rehabilitation. That work was completed in 2013 at a cost of $4.6 million and included the installation of updated safety sensors, new or refurbished steps, new step chains, new brake assemblies, and new comb plates and controllers.

The LIRR also established an Elevator and Escalator Operations Group, staffed with certified “Qualified Elevator-Escalator Inspectors,” who implemented a new preventative maintenance program which reduced the frequency of breakdowns and significantly improved response time. A new escalator contractor was also brought in and – at the LIRR’s direction – assigned teams of mechanics not only to restore the units to service, but to install additional safety features.

The latest survey also shows that elevator availability continues at or near the 98% level for the third consecutive year with new elevators recently installed at Queens Village Station and Atlantic Terminal and coming soon to Massapequa, Merrick and Woodside stations.

For More Information

For up-to-the-minute service info, including escalator and elevator availability, customers can sign up for LIRR’s free E-alerts at http://www.mymtaalerts.com/LoginC.aspx. Customers can also call 511, the New York State Travel Information line, and say: Long Island Rail Road. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 511.