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Ray Kenny, acting President, LIRR

June 1, 2007 @ 12:00 am EDT


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This morning we had a presentation from the acting president of the LIRR.
Mr Ray Kenny started with an overview of the railroads performance
records. The performance can be summarized here by saying that the best
year on record was 2002 at 94% for on time trains. Currently we are on
schedule to do slightly better than that. Customer satisfaction is
presently at 6.6 out of a possible 10.
We spent some time on customer accidents particularly accidents caused
by the platform gap. The immediate response to the gap problem is
creating public awareness of the possible danger. But Kenny realizes
that that is not enough.   He then explained the technical fixes that
may be used, including moveable platforms and the hazards associated
with that fix. Weather, signaling, and high speed trains through a
station are all things that must be considered.
What I considered to be the most important part of the presentation was
the future developments of the railroad.
We discussed East Side Access, Third Track on the LIRR main line, and
the community resistance to any changes.
East Side Access would allow LIRR trains to go into Grand Central
Station. By having that access, the LIRR could route an additional 300
trains per day. Presently 736 trains enter Penn Station. With the East
Side Access the total number of trains would be 1056. This would have a
very large impact on the road use of cars, as mant more people convert
their traveling habits to rails.
The Third Track on the main line would allow the possibility of moving
passengers in the opposite direction, that is going to Long Island. As
long Island creates more jobs, the employers of Long Island, and workers
in the city will have better access to each other.
These projects are so large, they are reminiscent of our fathers and
grandfathers efforts to build this region. Their efforts have served us
well when you think of the bridges, tunnels, and subways our forebears
The leadership that has been shown in New York City and at the state
level has been better in recent years than the long malaise we have seen
in the past. Frankly it is exciting and  encouraging.