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The Forest Hills station is the 51st busiest of the LIRR’s 124 stations.
By Forum Staff
The Long Island Rail Road plans to lengthen the platforms at Forest Hills and Kew Gardens by 50 percent, to accommodate six cars of a train from the current four, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced on Thursday.
Generally, the first four cars of LIRR trains currently stop at both platforms. The change will allow the first six cars to meet the platform at both stations, according to the agency.
Both stations have two side platforms north and south of the tracks. The railroad will extend both platforms at Forest Hills and both platforms at Kew Gardens 200 feet westward using steel scaffolding structures supporting fiberglass decking.
“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,” said LIRR President Phillip Eng. “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.”
Preparation work at both sites began last week. All work will be performed by LIRR personnel. Staff are analyzing the project to identify a completion date and cost, Eng added.
“It is great to see that the Long Island Rail Road is taking active measures to safely help speed up trips for the thousands of residents that use the LIRR on a daily basis in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. By extending the platforms at these two stations, passengers will have an easier egress off of the train, reducing delays and making a better trip for everyone,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach). “I look forward to seeing the final results once construction is finished.”
Forest Hills and Kew Gardens are the 51st and 56th busiest of the LIRR’s 124 stations, respectively, with average weekday ridership at Forest Hills of 1,967 passengers and 1,778 at Kew Gardens, according to the LIRR. Forest Hills has become a popular destination in recent years for LIRR customers attending concerts at Forest Hills Stadium, the agency noted.