New Port Washington substation expected to aid growth in train service

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LIRR President Phillip Eng greeting commuters at the Mineola train station. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)
LIRR President Phillip Eng greeting commuters at the Mineola train station. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

Phillip Eng, president of the Long Island Rail Road, announced on Thursday afternoon the completion of a new electrical substation for the Port Washington branch.

The substation, located at the intersection of Davis and Bayles Avenues, will have the capacity to electrify the third rails “that provide traction power that moves trains and keeps them lit and temperature controlled,” according to a press release.

It will replace an outdated substation that has been used by the railroad for more than 30 years.

The construction of the substation began in October 2016 and the main contractor was Myers Controlled Power based out of North Canton, Ohio.

The press release states that the new substation will “enable the anticipated growth in train service that is expected to coincide with the start of LIRR service to Grand Central in 2022.”

The Port Washington substation is the first of 14 substations to be completed as part of the LIRR Modernization Program, which aims to update the necessary equipment to withstand the increased economic activity planned for Long Island.

The program was called for by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will allocate $6.6 billion towards restoring railroad infrastructure, such as bridges, railroad crossings, parking and stations, as well as expanding the railroad system.

“Our LIRR Modernization Program is transforming the railroad to enable more reliable and more frequent service that will underpin the 21st-century economic growth of Long Island,” Eng said in a statement. “Many of the projects in this program involve critical behind-the-scenes infrastructure that isn’t normally seen by the customer. This new electrical substation is one such unsung but critical piece of the railroad infrastructure that will improve our service reliability.”

Other substations in northern Nassau County are expected to be constructed at Merillon Avenue, Floral Park, Mineola and New Hyde Park. There will also be others that will be completed as part of the Mainline Third Track Project.

They are all currently in the preliminary design stage, according to the press release.

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