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Photo courtesy of MTA
Photo courtesy of MTA
The newly extended platform at the Forest Hills LIRR station.

Riders of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens may see less congestion and fewer delays after the two stations recently opened extended platforms.

According to the announcement made on Sept. 12 by LIRR President Phillip Eng, the work began on July 23 and was completed within seven weeks. Each platform is now 50 percent longer and able to board six train cars at once instead of the previous four.

“I hope that this project demonstrates the new sense of urgency that the LIRR is bringing to bear on projects that can improve our customers’ commutes,” Eng said in a press release. “This change will have real benefits for our riders, and we accomplished it in less than two months by identifying a pinch-point where we incur delays and quickly marshaling our dedicated and capable workforce to make a fix.”

The extended platforms were built on both the north and south sides of the tracks at both stations. The railroad extended the platforms by 200 feet to the west by using a steel scaffolding structure supporting a fiberglass deck.

“At Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, we hope our trains will be less congested, faster and more pleasant,” Eng said. “With more doors to board from, we anticipate more efficient train operations at both stations. We’re committed to improving conditions for all our customers, and this is a win not only for Queens, but for customers who ride from Nassau and Suffolk into Penn Station, who we hope will experience fewer delays through this area.”

The Forest Hills and Kew Gardens stations are the 51st and 56th busiest of the LIRR’s 124 stations respectively, according to the press release, with average weekday ridership at Forest Hills of 1,967 passengers and 1,778 at Kew Gardens.

The Forest Hills station has seen an increase in traffic in recent years, likely due to riders attending concerts at Forest Hills stadium.

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