The Long Island Rail Road is planning to study how best to alleviate noise concerns for Village of Thomaston residents who live near a so-called “pocket track” on the Port Washington branch that has been chosen for a proposed extension.
The pocket track near the Great Neck station is a side track staging area for commuter trains. LIRR officials are planning a $26 million project to extend the pocket track 1,200 feet to provide for train service to Grand Central Terminal once the East Side Access tunnel under the East River is completed in five years. But residents who live nearby on the North Shore peninsula are concerned that trains near their homes would impact their quality of life.
“The LIRR is committed to working with the Great Neck community on mitigating any impacts of the proposed pocket track extension,” said LIRR President Helena Williams, adding that the nearby Colonial Road Bridge is also slated for a $10 million replacement project.
The study will examine the best use of foliage, the composition and height of a retaining wall, and the combination of both, according to Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). In addition, the pocket track extension would only be utilized during peak hours, and no trains will be stored overnight.
About 43,000 riders use the Port Washington branch daily.