The LIRR Expansion Project team is looking ahead to a productive year, while also looking back on the legacy of the Railroad and its infrastructure. As the first major milestone of 2021, the new Nassau 1 Interlocking System was commissioned over the weekend of February 27-28. Since 2018, LIRR crews have been working to migrate signals, switches, and communications from remote block towers to a centralized control room in Jamaica. The new Nassau 1 Interlocking System is part of a comprehensive modernization effort to streamline operations, optimize flexibility, and ensure the safe movement of trains along the corridor. Moving Nassau 1 Interlocking closer to Mineola Station is part of an overall operating strategy that will, upon completion of the third track, speed up the movement of Oyster Bay Branch service through the area and allow for greater throughput along the Main Line.
Now that the new Nassau 1 Interlocking has been commissioned, crews from 3TC (the Design-Builder) have begun removing old switches and outdated equipment along the right-of-way to make room for the third track and other project elements. Through close coordination with the Village of Mineola and with public input, a new parking facility is being developed with a commuter drop-off/pick-up area to improve traffic circulation and encourage a livelier streetscape. These improvements and other aspects of the project require removal of the Mineola Substation and Nassau Tower – whose function was successfully migrated to the new operating system out of Jamaica Central Control in May 2020.
Recognizing the Mineola Substation and the Nassau Tower as structures of historical significance, MTA and LIRR worked closely with the New York State Historical Preservation Office to establish how best to pay homage to these buildings. To mitigate for the loss of the Nassau Tower and the Mineola Substation, an extensive recordation was completed, in which architectural historians completed a thorough archival survey of the structures’ current conditions. The archival documentation includes photographs, visual representations of each property and its significant features, historic images, plans, drawings, and a brief narrative history pertaining to the development and construction of the properties. These materials are now being shared with the public for enjoyment and educational purposes and are available here.
To further celebrate the role that the Nassau Tower and Mineola Substation played in the development of the LIRR and Long Island, the project team partnered with local railroad historians to embark on a mini-documentary with an insider’s look at the structures. The video features current and former MTA-LIRR employees who are joined by two special guests for one last tour of the buildings and a celebration of the signal and track modernization progressing along the Main Line and the bright future ahead.
Our Community Ambassador team is always here and available should you have any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us through the project’s 24-hour Hotline at 516.203.4955 or by email at CommunityOutreach@LIRRexpansion.com. To make sure that you receive the latest LIRR Expansion Project updates right to your inbox, please register here.