Robotics Team Proposes Safety Solution for LIRR

Robotics Team Proposes Safety Solution for LIRR
Posted on 03/09/2020

Hicksville Middle School’s robotics team, the Meteorites, welcomed representatives from the Long Island Railroad to observe their award-winning FIRST Lego League project on Feb. 27. This year, the challenge was addressing problems in cities. The Meteorites created SMART, which stands for “safe mechanical automatic ramps for trains.”

SMART addresses the issue of the gap between trains and platforms on the Long Island Railroad. Affecting a variety of groups, the gap has been the cause of over 1,000 incidents since 1995. The students researched the issue for months, reaching out to key stakeholders such as engineers and differently abled members of the community. They also investigated important components such as materials, costs, durability and possible service disruptions while the ramps are installed.

The Meteorites eagerly presented their project to the LIRR’s Manager of Safety Administration and Community Relations Linda Katz, Senior Manager Assistant for Safety Analysis Christopher Gough and Community Relations Specialist Chrisann Fabio. The guests were especially impressed by the students’ mechanical prototype of their proposed idea, which demonstrated the automated ramp being released from the train.

After their presentation, the students were able to collect feedback and insight from the LIRR representatives. Gough and the students dove into an in-depth discussion on the logistics of their proposed solution. “From an engineering perspective, I’m impressed with the fact that you identified your problem, realized a scope, thought out multiple solutions and made a decision based on feasibility,” Gough said.

After the presentation, Fabio demonstrated a LIRR safety presentation called “T.R.A.C.K.S.” According to the LIRR website, T.R.A.C.K.S. stands for “Together Railroads and Communities Keeping Safe” and is a joint venture between the LIRR Corporate Safety Department and the MTA Police Department to reach out to schools, camps, day care and community groups. 

MS LIRR

The Meteorites presented their FIRST Lego League project to Long Island Railroad Manager of Safety Administration and Community Relations Linda Katz, Senior Manager Assistant for Safety Analysis Christopher Gough and Community Relations Specialist Chrisann Fabio. They are pictured with robotics team coach and advisor Catherine Temps, Hicksville Middle School Principal Mara Jorisch and Assistant Principal Benjamin Tangney.

MS LIRR

Christopher Gough, senior manager assistant for safety analysis for the Long Island Railroad, spoke with the Hicksville Middle School robotics team, the Meteorites, about their FIRST Lego League project during a presentation.

MS LIRR

Chrisann Fabio demonstrated a Long Island Railroad safety presentation called “T.R.A.C.K.S.” to the Hicksville Middle School robotics team, the Meteorites.