First train to EPCAL

The rail spur leading into Calverton Enterprise Park, which is being restored after sitting dormant for more than 20 years, welcomed its first train Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Resident engineer Anthony Evola is in charge of inspecting the work for the town (from left), Matthew Jasinski, operating engineer with Local 138, Alfonso Parela and Eric Robinson workers with Railroad Construction Company, unload 100 tons of granite ballast Thursday

The contractor rebuilding the spur used freight rail to bring in ballast for the tracks, a move officials say greatly speeds up the amount of time needed to do the job.

The rail spur project received a $4.8 million grant from the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, along with a $650,000 Empire State Development grant and a $75,000 state sustainable transportation grant.

The contract for the job was awarded to Railroad Construction Company for $3.4 million.

The spur once carried materials to the Grumman Corporation’s naval weapons plant, which ceased operations there in 1994. It has been abandoned for many years and trees and weeds had grown over the tracks. The spur branches off the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line, runs north along Connecticut Avenue, crosses River Road and heads into the EPCAL industrial park, adjacent to Eastern Wholesale Fence and Metro Biofuel. A crossing gate with flashing lights is scheduled to be installed on River Road/Grumman Boulevard as part of the project.

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