Service Suspended Between Mineola and Jamaica Weekend of August 23 - August 24
Buses Replace Trains on Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Hempstead and Oyster Bay Branches as Queens Interlocking Project Nears Completion
Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams today reminded customers who use the LIRR’s Main Line branches that buses would replace train service between Mineola and Jamaica on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2008.
The 48-hour shutdown is necessary to allow LIRR workers to complete a major signal upgrade as the Queens Interlocking Switch & Signal Improvement Project nears completion. The service suspension will affect customers on the Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Hempstead and Oyster Bay Branches.
“This is the final phase of an important project that would have not been possible without the cooperation of customers all summer long,” said Williams. “We have tried very hard to minimize the impact, but on the August 23-24 weekend it is particularly important for LIRR customers to be aware of what’s happening. We want everyone who plans to ride the Railroad that weekend to be ready to adjust their travel plans accordingly.”
Customers are urged to pick up special weekend timetables for their branch and plan for 30-45 minutes of additional travel time. In addition to the shutdown between Mineola and Jamaica, other trains will be rerouted, connection times will change and schedules for most branches will be altered. To avoid lengthy delays, weekend travelers should make their way to the South Shore and use the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Montauk and West Hempstead Branches.
The Queens Interlocking project is a $60,4 million modernization program bringing state-of-the-art technology to an important LIRR switching point (between Queens Village and Bellerose) where the busy Main Line and Hempstead Branch merge. Work began on Monday, June 16 and is scheduled for completion on Monday, September 1.
Workers have been replacing the current signal system with microprocessor technology and reconfiguring the track to include high-speed crossover switches.
“This project will benefit our customers by providing a smoother and faster ride over the crossovers, and a reduction in maintenance-related track outages at a heavily traveled section of the Railroad,” said Williams.
Here is summary of the service changes planned:
- During early morning hours, westbound Ronkonkoma branch customers will transfer at Mineola for bus service to Jamaica where they will transfer back to trains for the remainder of their trip. Eastbound Ronkonkoma branch customers during the early morning hours will transfer at Jamaica for bus service to Mineola where they will transfer back to train service for the remainder of their trip.
- Between the hours of 7:00 AM and 12:00 AM, customers traveling on the Ronkonkoma branch will have direct service to and from Penn Station using Dual Mode engines re-routed using the Central branch and Babylon branch to and from western terminals for all stations except Bethpage.
Bethpage customers will travel by bus to Hicksville and transfer to train service to Mineola. Customers will continue their trip by bus to Jamaica and transfer back to train service for western terminals.
East of Ronkonkoma Service
Buses will replace trains for stations Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Mattituck, Southold and Greenport.
Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch
Eastbound trains will operate to Jamaica where customers will transfer for buses to Mineola. Customers will transfer back to train service at Mineola for the remainder of their trip. Westbound customers will transfer at Mineola for bus service to Jamaica where they will transfer back to train service for western terminals. Port Jefferson branch stations will be serviced on two-hour intervals throughout the weekend program.
Oyster Bay Branch
Eastbound Oyster Bay customers will transfer at Jamaica for bus service to Mineola where they will transfer back to train service for all stations on the Oyster Bay branch. Westbound Oyster Bay trains will terminate at Mineola where customers will transfer to buses to Jamaica. Customers will transfer back to train service at Jamaica for western terminals.
There will be no train service for Hempstead branch customers between Jamaica and Hempstead. Eastbound customers will transfer to buses at Jamaica for stations Hollis through Hempstead. Westbound customers will board buses at their stations for service to Jamaica where they will transfer to train service for western terminals.
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