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Babylon Train Wash Facility

Creative design leads to an award-winning facility that minimizes environmental impacts and long-term costs.

  • The completed Babylon Train Wash Facility - Gannett Fleming.

    The green facility is designed to accommodate electric and diesel-hauled trains.

  • Inside the green Babylon Train Wash Facility – Gannett Fleming.

    The train wash facility services one 12-car train every 15 minutes, 16 hours a day.

  • The precast track sections used for the train wash facility - Gannett Fleming.

    The use of precast track sections allowed the railroad to remain operational during construction.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road

Babylon, New York

Our Role
Architectural, Structural, Geotechnical, Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical.

11,000 sq. ft.
Construction Cost
$25.5 million
New Construction
5 years
  • Uses solar power and waste-water recycling to help protect the environment
  • Maintains the life of the train equipment and prevents corrosion
  • Ability to service 180 cars each day, seven days a week.

The Babylon Branch of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in New York is the busiest of LIRR’s 11 branches. When it was time to build a new train wash facility between the station and the tracks leading to the Babylon Train Yard, a creative approach was needed – taking the line out of service was not an option. Gannett Fleming developed an original solution to meet the needs of the client and ensure the least disturbance to daily operations.

The result was a new, green facility designed to service 180 train cars each day to keep car exteriors clean and reduce replacement costs. By utilizing innovative solutions like precast track sections and a 32-month staged construction schedule, the project team minimized the impact on LIRR customers.

What We Did

The Babylon Train Wash Facility project consisted of the design and construction of a new, unmanned automatic train washer. As the prime consultant, Gannett Fleming provided the conceptual, preliminary, and final design along with construction phase services. The firm also led a multidiscipline team covering architectural, structural, geotechnical, environmental, civil and site, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering, as well as track and traction power. The project included a challenging 32-month staged construction schedule for the new train wash facility and its associated track work.

To reduce environmental impacts and achieve social benefits that exceed the traditional engineering for this type of facility, the project team worked to incorporate sustainable attributes into the scope of work, including green building materials and integrated photovoltaic panels.

Key Features

  • Maintained rail traffic during construction to minimize impact on riders
  • Used precast sectionalized track beds to expedite installation
  • Features a 3,780-square-foot equipment building and a 7,332-square-foot train wash bay to accommodate 180 train cars daily.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Wash equipment reuses up to 71 percent of wash water
  • Integrated photovoltaic panels generate an estimated 46,200 kWh per year
  • Includes post-consumer recycled steel, low-VOC sealants, and other green building materials
  • A leach field eliminates stormwater run-off pollutants
  • A spill containment pad protects the land during detergent deliveries.

Awards & Recognition

  • Platinum Award, 2013, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, Engineering Excellence

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