Long Island Rail Road Train

Marta Zielinska/WCBS 880

LIRR May Miss PTC Deadline Due To Faulty Equipment

February 26, 2019 - 1:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A costly project to install positive train control on Long Island Rail Road trains has been delayed because a contractor installed faulty equipment. Now, the railroad may miss a 2020 deadline.

“This is a safety issue. This is clearly a safety issue,” said Mark Epstein, the chairman of the LIRR Commuter Counsel.

In a meeting Monday, Epstein and other LIRR officials grilled contractors over the faulty federal mandated safety equipment. There, the two companies responsible for the project announced that antennas and undercar kits being put in place were either defective or recalled.

“A hundred percent of the undercar kits are being recalled because a test station in the onboard manufacturing facility was out of calibration since 2016. These issues were found after the equipment was manufactured and installed on all of our trains,” said MTA project director Deborah Chin.

The LIRR has until December 2020 to fully install PTC or face fines of $28,000 per day.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who negotiated a $1 billion federal loan to fund the PTC project, said the issues and delay were "unacceptable."

Epstein says the two companies should now be held responsible and should pay for issues that arise.

“We do not want to see the costs be borne again by the riders, which seems to be what is always happening,” he said.

The MTA says it remains committed to meeting the deadline.