Two elected officials representing Glendale and Middle Village are working with environmentalists to oversee the procurement of cleaner, quieter diesel engines for the Fresh Pond Railyard in Glendale.
With two Tier 4 diesel engines already purchased and three more in the request for proposal (RFP) process, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller are also calling better oversight of $3 million in state funds.
Both elected officials issued letters to Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng to ensure the switches in procurement to be used in the yard under lease by the New York & Atlantic Railway were acquired with transparency.
“There are a lot of complaints about noise in different parts of the line that goes as far as Middle Village, there are complaints about the idling of the engines, there’s complaints about the smell that comes out of the engines,” Miller said. “Sometimes [the trains] are parked along the line and back up to homes and that causes issues.”
Each year the state has put forth $3 million for the engines over the last six years.
Although New York & Atlantic lease the property, the LIRR are in charge of maintaining the yard and providing engines, such as the Tier 4 Switch Duty Cycle diesel.
“Previous procurement procedures hace been questioned and scrutinized,” Addabbo said in an Oct. 22 letter to Eng. “I am personally working on this issue because I believe in, and have voted for, funding to secure the short and long term health benefits of locomotives that give my constituents the cleanest Tier 4 emissions. The results of the procurement process will have a direct impact on the lives of my constituents.”
LIRR spokesman said Eng’s drive to replace NYAR’s eight engines with as little turn around time as possible was representative of the LIRR president’s “‘Let’s get it done’ Philosophy.”
“This had been a long-standing issue, and we were able to take measures now to help resolve it,” Donovan said.
Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES), led by Mary Parisen as a co-founder, has been working to pressure the LIRR and the NYAR to replace the engines she claimed in Sept. 24 MTA meeting choke residents which exhaust fume in their own homes.
Miller said while two of the Tier 4 engines are already on the way, three more are still in the RFP process.