July 27, 2018 By Tara Law
The Long Island Railroad train platforms at the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens stations will be lengthened to accommodate two additional train cars, LIRR President Philip Eng announced yesterday.
The project will lengthen the platforms by 50 percent to allow six cars to meet the platform instead of the current four. LIRR trains can be up to 12 cars long, the railroad said.
The plan is intended to address crowding and reduce delays by helping customers to board and exit trains more easily, the LIRR said.
Both the north and south platforms at each station will be lengthened with fiberglass decking supported by steel scaffolding.
The Forest Hills and Kew Gardens stations have an average weekday ridership of 1,967 and 1,778 passengers, respectively. In recent years, Forest Hills has become a more popular destination for Forest Hills Stadium event attendees.
“With the high ridership at these stations, we are experiencing train delays as customers must walk from car to car to be able to reach a door at a platform,” Eng said. “Because these two stations are at a busy section of the railroad, those delays can cause trains behind to be delayed as well. Longer platforms should speed up our main line service for all customers traveling between Penn Station and Jamaica.”
Several elected officials, including U.S. Representative Grace Meng, thanked the LIRR for investing in the stations.
“It is critical that we maintain and upgrade key infrastructure in our borough, and lengthening the platforms at the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens stations will go a long way towards reducing crowding and decreasing delays,” Meng said.
Preparation work for the project was scheduled to begin this week. The railroad has not yet released the projected completion date or an estimate of the project’s cost.