SK interlocking begins just to the west of the Speonk station platform. The interlocking then continues over the Norht Phillips Avenue crossing and into Speonk Yard. SK yard is one of the few yards on the LIRR that is remote-controlled. Nonetheless, the yard is contains a small handful of tracks that store diesel sets used for Montauk Branch service.
For the most part, the yard is usually pretty full overnight, with two or three smaller sets parked on tracks 4, 5, or 6 that are used to make up trains in the morning. If there are any longer sets (like the lone Speonk DM) they can be parked on track 1 or 2.
|An eastbound Montauk Train gets ready to head to Speonk Yard after being canceled at Speonk due to trackwork. |
You can see the newly installed signals in the image. (Photo credit: YouTube user jkrspecnet)
Speonk is also home to one of the very few wyes on the LIRR. The wye track isn't all that long, so it's not like a whole train could be turned on the wye, but it can certainly be used to turn a locomotive if need be.
The yard is also fitted out with a handful of small. one-door platforms that crews can use to get on or off the trains after they've been yarded easily. The center of the wye/yard area also houses a collection of trailers and crew parking spots. Quite a few crews report to here, as it is also the easternmost crew point on the RR (no crews report to Montauk or Greenport at any point). Lots of times a couple of the summer Hamptons trains are started out of Speonk Yard with Speonk Crews, but for the most part, rush hour crews begin their runs here in the morning and end them here at night.
About halfway down track 1, the interlocking officially ends, and with it Automatic Speed Control on the Montauk Branch. As part of the Speonk to Montauk Signalization Project, ATC will eventually be extended all the way to Montauk and new interlockings will be created at Hampton Bays (HB interlocking), Bridgehampton (BH interlockig), and Montauk (MON interlocking).
On May 6, 2006, new signals went into service and SK interlocking was officially parted into two separate interlockings, SK 1 and SK 2. SK 1 is the yard and switches leading into the yard, while SK 2 is south of the tracks and east of the station.
The interlocking here is currently remote-controlled from BABYLON tower.
The Speonk Freight Track, which runs south of the Montauk Branch as opposed to all of the other yard tracks, is not officially considered part of Speonk Yard and isn't usually used for train storage.
There are no official "meets" that happen here, per-se. One or two westbound trains will originate out of Speonk Yard after an eastbound Montauk Branch train passes, for instance, but there isn't really much use for any sort of passing siding at this location.
This wraps up this week's interlocking walkthrough. The nearest interlocking to the west of here is JJD interlocking near Mastic-Shirley. At the current moment, there are no other interlocking east of SK, but eventually HB interlocking will take over that role. Next week we'll visit STONY interlocking.