Location / Name:
Manhattan NY, New York County
Queens NY, Queens County
Adding LIRR access from Sunnyside Yard (Queens) to Grand Central Terminal
GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 212 in Manhattan, 718 in the Queens
Access by train/transit:
- Amtrak / NJT / LIRR at Penn Station
- Metro North / LIRR at Grand Central Terminal
- #1, 2, 3 IRT and A, B, C IND Subway Lines at Penn Station
- #4, 5, 6, 7 IRT Lines Subway Lines at GCT
- Subway shuttle service between GCT and Times Square
- #7 IRT and N, W BMT Subway Lines at Queensboro Plaza (elevated)
- #7 IRT Subway Line at 33rd St/Rawson St and Hunters Point stations
- E, M, R IND Subway Lines at Queens Plaza (underground)
- LIRR at the Hunterspoint and Sunnyside stations
Manhattan side subways
Queens side subways
The East Side Access Project is the largest undertaking for the Long Island Railroad in 100 years.
Simply put, it's purpose is to add access to Grand Central Terminal.
By giving the Long Island Railroad access to Grand Central, it will
accomplish two things - it will provide commuters with an alternate
destination on the Manhattan side, and it will alleviate some of the
"crunch" at Penn Station.
According to the various sources of information on the project,
here are some of the original goals:
- Provide access for the Long Island RR to Grand Central Terminal.
- Tunnel from the 63rd St Tunnel to Grand Central Terminal.
- Construct 5 new "softbore" tunnels from Sunnyside Yard to the 63rd St Tunnel.
- Construction of an additional loop track.
- Provide 2 bypasses for Amtrak trains for conflict free passage thru Harold Interlocking.
- Relocate the Car Wash due to changes in the Loop Tracks.
- Reconfigure Harold Interlocking.
- Update the Harold Interlocking signaling from relay to computer based technology.
- A new LIRR Sunnyside station below and adjacent to the Queens Blvd Bridge.
- A single soft-ground bored tunnel to provide MTA New York City Transit (NYCT)
access to a planned future storage yard in Sunnyside Yard.
As we cover the project, we'll see how many items from the above list they
Open Railway Map
From Wikipedia: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
began construction of several infrastructure improvements to the junction
area in 2009, but a major project to redesign and rebuild the interlocking
required additional funding. In May 2011, a $294.7 million federal grant
was awarded to address congestion at the interlocking. The work will allow
for a grade-separated route between the East River Tunnels and the Hell
Gate Bridge for Amtrak trains traveling to or from New England, thus
avoiding LIRR traffic. Northeast Corridor trains from the Hell Gate
Bridge and New England would be able to avoid the junction entirely,
while trains to the Hell Gate Bridge and New England would be able to
bypass a major section of the junction. As part of the project, Amtrak's
car-washing facility within Sunnyside Yard, as well as several small
Amtrak buildings, are being relocated. The MTA is constructing and
managing the improvement project as part of the adjacent East Side
Access project to bring the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal. As of late
2017, the MTA estimated that East Side Access would be substantially
complete in 2022. By November 2018, two of three East Side Access tunnel
portals had been built at Harold Interlocking, and only the centermost
portal remained to be built.
Work on the Northeast Corridor bypass started in 2013. However, by October
2015, the tunnels were behind schedule because Amtrak and the MTA could
not cooperate on track access schedules. These delays ultimately raised
construction costs by almost $1 billion as of April 2018, and in a report
that month, the MTA attributed the delays to a lack of cooperation on
Amtrak's part. The work at Harold Interlocking also included the installation
of a microprocessor-based interlocking logic, replacing the old relay-based one. end Wiki
Wikipedia and modified, their version is somewhat simplified and confusing
East Side Access Project - Amtrak's
WB Bypass Tunnel
This new tunnel will allow SB (WB in MTA/Amtrak parlance) Amtrak trains
conflict free passage thru Harold Interlocking.
The track diagrams below are from Wikipedia, and, it appears that Wikipedia
left out a connection where I put the blue line, otherwise Amtrak trains
would go into the LIRR yard, as ML1 and ML2 are Long Island tracks into the
Long Island City station and yard. The new tunnel is pointed to with a green
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Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
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