WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES DECEMBER 31, 2020 13
Heading into 2021, LIRR is the safest it has ever been
BY PHILLIP ENG
As 2020 comes to an end, and with
the COVID-19 vaccine distribution
underway, I know we’re all
hopeful for a fresh start in 2021.
And I’m proud to say that going into
the New Year, the Long Island Rail Road
(LIRR) is the safest it’s ever been.
Last week, the LIRR, alongside our
sister railroad Metro-North, successfully
completed a nationally mandated
safety project called Positive Train
Control, designed to protect against
human error while operating trains
to help prevent accidents.
This eff ort could not have been done
without our incredible PTC project
team, led by Debbie Chin and Andrew
Arenth, whose leadership, expertise
and innovative thinking ensured that
we met the federal deadline amid a year
of unprecedented challenges.
This team worked tirelessly to install
equipment on 305 route miles across
the entire LIRR territory, along with
equipment on 1,055 train cars, 151
wayside interface units, 108 communication
locations, and more than 4,200
transponders. More than 3,000 LIRR
personnel are now trained on this PTC
system, ensuring a safer ride for all.
This important accomplishment
adds to the roster of recent safety
improvements we’ve made, including
the installation of new safety measures
at all 289 railroad crossings; the fi rstof
its-kind partnership with WAZE to
alert motorists to upcoming railroad
crossings; and the continuing eff orts
to modernize infrastructure and our
signal systems, along with concrete
tie replacements, enhanced rail testing,
and the installation of continuous
As we embark on a new set of infrastructure
activity for 2021, fl owing into
the spring months, we are striving for
another successful year of delivering
critical projects, and will continue to
keep safety at the forefront of everything
Despite all the new challenges we
faced and had to overcome in 2020, I’m
thankful for all the signifi cant accomplishments
that we have been able to
deliver. Looking ahead, all of us here
at the railroad remain committed to
continuous improvement for our customers
and our employees.
My fi nal wish for the remaining days
of 2020 is that everyone fi nds a way to
safely enjoy this time of year as we all
deal with this second wave of COVID
across the country. Let’s all watch out
for each other, have a safe and healthy
holiday season, and a promising start
From all of us at the LIRR, happy
holidays to you and your loved ones.
See you in 2021.
Phillip Eng is the Long Island Rail
ART BENEATH THE LIRR BRIDGE AT 158TH STREET
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY GEORGE SEBASTIAN
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