October 17, 2012

LIRR unveils new train wash facility

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) unveiled a new $25.5 million train wash facility located in the Village of Babylon.

The new facility, which was financed with funds from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 through the Federal Transit Administration, is expected to clean the exterior of more than 320 train cars a day. Up until now, the LIRR’s over 1,000-car electric fleet was cleaned at the LIRR’s only other train wash at the entrance to its Ronkonkoma Train Yard.

The new train wash facility is located east of the Babylon LIRR Station, situated between the Babylon Village golf course and the LIRR tracks leading to the Babylon Train Yard. With the Babylon Branch being the busiest of the LIRR's 11 branches, the location of the new wash facility allows trains to be cycled through the wash just prior to being moved into the Babylon Yard for overnight storage.

The train wash is fully automated and is activated upon the approach of a train.

The design and construction of the new wash facility incorporated significant "green" elements —making it a more environmentally-friendly operation. These features include:

  • The filtering, reconditioning and reusing of more than 70% of wash water.
  • A 35 kilo-watt solar power panel system mounted on the train wash bay roof helps operate the electrical lighting and auxiliary power for the train wash equipment building, saving the LIRR an estimated $6,700 a year on utility costs.
  • An oil-water separator to prevent oil and diesel fuel from entering the waste water system.
  • A process for pre-treating train wash waste water prior to release into the municipal sewer system for final treatment.
  • Storm water is collected, eliminating run-off into nearby Sumpwams and Geiger Creeks.
  • A new landscape buffer was built between the golf course and the train wash.
  • Area wetlands have been fenced to prevent damage and illicit dumping.

The new train wash facility replaced the previous wash on this site, which dated from the 1970’s. As part of the project, the old train wash was demolished.

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