Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Long Island Rail Road


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NYS Comptroller


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Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Long Island Rail Road
Utilization of the Arch Street Yard and Shop Facility

Issued: December 8, 2017
Link to full audit report 2016-S-78
Link to 90-day response

To determine whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) – Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Arch Street Yard and Shop Facility (Facility) was constructed before it was needed for East Side Access (ESA) completion; whether the MTA has any plans for the use of the Facility before the expected 2022 opening of ESA; and whether the Facility is maintained and secured and at what cost. Our audit covered the period from May 3, 2002 to May 23, 2017.

As part of the MTA’s mammoth ESA project, it constructed the new Facility in Long Island City, adjacent to the No. 7 line Hunters Point Ave. Station. The Facility was designed to provide inspections, maintenance, and cleaning for trains that will operate into Grand Central Terminal. The Facility was completed in December 2004 at a cost of $81.4 million. Funding for the project was provided by federal ($60.3 million) and non-federal sources ($21.1 million).

Key Findings

  • The Facility was constructed before it was needed for ESA. The LIRR requested that this Facility be built as early as possible so that it could be used as an acceptance and inspection facility for its new M-7 electric rail cars, which Bombardier began delivering in 2002. According to a staff summary dated May 3, 2002, “Upon completion of the M-7 acceptance program, LIRR’s
    Maintenance of Equipment Department will utilize the Facility to perform periodic inspections as well as scheduled and unscheduled repairs for the M-7 and M-3 fleets.”
  • The Facility was never used as intended for the acceptance and inspection of the M-7 cars. Moreover, except for occasional use of the wheel truing equipment to round off flat spots on rail car wheels, the Facility was also not used for periodic inspections or repairs by the Maintenance of Equipment Department.
  • Since its construction in December 2004, the Facility has undergone periods when it was vacant (for over 3.5 years), leased to the M-7 vendor to make warranty repairs, and licensed twice: once as a parking lot to accommodate a tenant displaced from an MTA project, and once to a contractor to perform modifications on Metro-North Railroad rail cars. The LIRR incurred costs
    of $2.43 million to maintain and secure the facility from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016.

Key Recommendation

  • Perform a written cost-benefit analysis to determine what the best use is for the Facility and the equipment until ESA is open.

Other Related Audit/Report of Interest

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236