New York State Governor Ms Kathy Hochul has celebrated completion of the Long Island Rail Road's historic Third Track project on time and under budget. The new 9.8-mile track runs from Floral Park to Hicksville, giving the railroad more operational flexibility to minimize service disruptions and increase service by 41% systemwide when Grand Central Madison opens later this year, while improving safety and creating true bi-directional LIRR service to fuel the local economy. Construction of the Third Track is the centerpiece of the larger USD 2.5 billion Long Island Rail Road Main Line Expansion Project, which includes the renewal of five LIRR stations along the route (New Hyde Park, MerillonAvenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury), the elimination of eight at-grade railroad crossings, upgrades at seven railroad bridges, parking expansions, installation of new sound attenuation barriers, and landscaping improvements. With only minor station work left to complete, the project is heading toward the finish line USD 100 million under budget almost four years after breaking ground. The newly built Third Track is physically the southernmost track on the roadbed and will carry eastbound service. It opened in three sections, with the first leg opening August 15 through New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue and the second stretch to Mineola on August 30. Critically, construction was completed without the need for residential real estate property acquisitions and with an unprecedented amount of community input The LIRR Main Line Expansion Project is part of an unprecedented USD 17.7 billion investment to transform and modernize the Long Island Rail Road. That money is funding more than 100 projects, including the opening of service to Grand Central Madison, construction of a more spacious LIRR Concourse at Penn Station and a new entrance at 33rd Street, renewal and upgrading of 36 stations and 17 bridges, activation of the Positive Train Control safety system, installation of 13 miles of second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, upgrades to 15 electrical substations, parking capacity increases, yard expansions, and more. Additionally, the MTA, together with NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, plans to seek federal funding to rebuild Penn Station into a world-class, single-level terminal.