Digest: LIRR, with just 5 miles of PTC still to complete, says it will meet deadline

News Wire Digest for Nov. 23: Amtrak, NJ Transit, complete work on Penn Station waiting area; Sound Transit board approves service changes

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An outbound Long Island Rail Road train meets a New York & Atlantic train on a section of the LIRR Main Line. The LIRR has just 5 miles of PTC to complete by the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline.

Monday morning rail news:

Long Island Rail Road, with 5 miles of PTC still to complete, says it will meet deadline
The Long Island Rail Road has one 5-mile section of track that does not yet have positive train control in service, but says it will complete the job before the Dec. 31 deadline. Newsday reports the remaining section, at Harold Interlocking in Queens, is scheduled to be operable by the end of November, but interoperability issues with Amtrak still have to be resolved. LIRR president Phillip Eng told a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting “we remain confident that we will be successful and in compliance with the FRA deadline.” In all, the LIRR has 305 route-miles requiring PTC, at a cost of about $1.15 billion.

Amtrak, NJ Transit complete renovation of waiting area at Penn Station
Amtrak and NJ Transit have completed renovation of the Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn Station, at the Amtrak Concourse on the upper level and Eighth Avenue side of the station. The $7.2 million project, a joint investment of the two operators, includes new seats with electrical outlets and USB ports, improved lighting, an additional entrance, train information display boards, and a lactation suite for nursing mothers. Additional details are available here.

Sound Transit board approves light rail service changes
The board of directors for Seattle’s Sound Transit has approved a 2021 light rail service plan anticipating the opening of the new Northgate Link service in September of next year and maintaining reduced levels of service because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Northgate service begins, light rail will operate every 8 minutes during rush hour, every 10 minutes midday and weekends, and every 15 minutes at night. Bus routes will also be adjusted to connect to the Northgate light rail service. Details are available here. Sounder commuter rail and Tacoma light rail service remains unchanged, but the agency cautions the plans are subject to further increases or decreases based on passenger demand and financial impacts of the pandemic.

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