July 2014 Union Strike

A tentative deal between the MTA and LIRR Unions to avert a July Strike has been reached. See this post for more information.

Wednesday, July 31

Interlocking Walkthrough: LOCUST

LOCUST interlocking, located at the outer edge of the Oyster Bay Branch is right next to Locust Valley station.  LOCUST interlocking is where the Oyster Bay Branch goes from two tracks to one.  West of here, the Oyster Bay Branch is double tracked all the way to NASSAU interlocking where it joins the mainline, but the line is single tracked east of this location to the line's end at Oyster Bay, one station to the east.  Here's a birds eye view of the location.

LOCUST interlocking is simple in nature, shorty after Locust Valley station the line goes from two tracks to one and that's it.  One simple switch.

LOCUST interlocking was originally put in place in 1912 as OY, but was renamed is current name in April 1937.  There was formerly a control tower at this location that carried the same name as the interlocking, but that was closed when the interlocking as we know today went into service on November 17, 1975.  On that date control over LOCUST was remoted to NASSAU tower and the tower on site was closed.

To this day the tower at LOCUST interlocking still stands, and in recent years it has been restored to its original condition.  The tower now serves as a police booth for the NCPD Second Prescient.

The three signals remaining at this simple interlocking are "old style" position light signals.  In the coming years the signals at LOCUST will be replaced in the LIRR's bid to modernize the system and bring control of everything under one roof at Jamaica.   But for now, NASSAU tower at the western end of the Oyster Bay Branch does the honors of switching this interlocking's lone switch.

The speed limit for trains traveling on the Oyster Bay Branch drop down at the eastern limit of this interlocking,  from this point forward, trains can go no faster than 40 m.p.h. on the remaining and very curvy portion of this branch.

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