MTA Press Releases

Press Release
May 2, 2019
IMMEDIATE
Amtrak to Begin New Round of Track and Infrastructure Work at Penn Station - LIRR Service Levels Starting July 1 to Remain Consistent With Current Schedules
Starting July 1, Seven Morning Rush Trains and Seven Evening Rush Trains Affected; To Offset These Changes, Five Trains Being Added and Select Trains to Be Lengthened, Some Trains to Make Additional Stops; Rush Hour Seating Capacity to Equal Current Level

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that, despite additional Amtrak work at Penn Station in July and August, Long Island Rail Road summer service levels will remain consistent with current levels.

Starting on May 20, a temporary break in Amtrak’s Penn Station state-of-good-repair trackwork will allow the restoration of 10 Long Island Rail Road trains that were diverted or canceled in January as a result of Amtrak's continuing work at Penn Station. Once Amtrak's work resumes, just before July, services levels will return to current levels.

May 20 Timetable Brings Temporary Restoration of Full Rush Hour Service

Additionally for the May 20 timetable, due to popular demand, two extra Penn Station-bound morning rush hour trains, originating at Farmingdale at 5:12 a.m. and Freeport at 5:43 a.m., will continue to operate through September. In the evening, the 5:52 p.m. train from Long Island City to Port Jefferson will retain its stop at Huntington at 7:15 p.m. Three extra trains that had been added temporarily to offset the other changes will be removed from the schedule. To accommodate track work on the Ronkonkoma Branch starting May 20, some AM and PM peak trains, including reverse peak trains, will have earlier adjusted departure times on the Ronkonkoma Branches. For complete timetables by branch, please visit this link. Also included in the May 20 timetables is the extra summer service to Montauk, including the Cannonball.

LIRR Continues Current Service Levels July 1 to September 2

Starting July 1, as Amtrak resumes its work at Penn Station on a complex of switches known as “JO Interlocking,” the LIRR's use of available track space in Penn Station will again be limited, as it was from January through May 19. Senior LIRR officials have been coordinating with Amtrak personnel to ensure the work progresses smoothly, including a commitment from Amtrak to stage response crews at strategic locations to address any issues that may arise, as well as to complete some repairs to tracks and conduct various inspections before work begins to help minimize any further impacts to LIRR customers.

Due to Amtrak’s repair work, the LIRR will divert or cancel seven of 144 morning rush trains and seven of 130 evening rush trains starting July 1, and running through September 2. Five trains are being added on the edges of both AM and PM peak periods to provide affected customers with alternative options. The LIRR is lengthening key trains to ensure that the overall seating capacity into Penn Station is in line with current capacity.

These changes also include: four morning peak trains to Penn Station will be diverted to Atlantic Terminal; one morning peak train to Penn Station will terminate in Jamaica, and two trains will not operate. In the evening rush, two trains will originate at Atlantic Terminal instead of Penn Station, two trains will originate at Jamaica instead of Penn Station; and three trains will not operate.

In both the morning and evening rush hours, stops will be added to trains as necessary to preserve service opportunities from diverted or cancelled trains, and cars will be added to lengthen select existing trains.

To help offset these changes and maintain maximum capacity, two trains will be added to Penn Station in the early AM rush, as well as three trains added in the early afternoon from Penn Station.

LIRR staff will remain in close communication with Amtrak as it continues its State of Good Repair work, in order to ensure that impacts to LIRR customers remain as minimal as possible.

Schedule details included in this press release are subject to adjustment. Customers are urged to check the final timetables, effective July 1-14, and July 15-September 2, which will be published online at this web page and available via printed copies in stations systemwide mid-June.

The LIRR is planning a robust communications effort to make sure customers know their travel options ahead of time. Customer communications will be issued via our email/text alert system, in printed seat-drops on our trains, in our monthly MyLIRR newsletter, on social media, recorded platform announcements, and notices on our digital screens system-wide. Customers can sign up to receive email/text alerts that can be tailored to their specific commuting times/branches by visiting this link.

New LIRR Schedule Changes Effective July 1 through September 2, 2019:

Babylon Branch

Westbound

  • The 6:56 a.m. train from Wantagh to Penn Station will be diverted to Atlantic Terminal.
  • The 8:25 a.m. train from Freeport to Penn Station will be diverted to Atlantic Terminal.
  • A 5:43 a.m. train from Freeport to Penn Station added in January will continue to operate on weekdays this period.
  • The 7:10 a.m. train from Babylon to Penn Station will not operate during this period. To help accommodate these customers, some scheduled stops from this train will be added to the 7:21 a.m. train from Babylon to Penn Station, and other stops will be added to the 7:44 a.m. train from Merrick to Penn Station.

Eastbound

  • A 3:31 p.m. train from Penn Station to Babylon will be added and operate on weekdays this period.
  • The 4:34 p.m. train from Penn Station to Babylon will not operate during this period. Customers can board the 4:37 p.m. train to Wantagh, with added stops.
  • The 5:19 p.m. train from Penn Station to Wantagh will not operate during this period. Customers can board the 5:24 p.m. train to Freeport, with added stops.
  • The 5:40 p.m. train from Penn Station to Seaford will not operate during this period. Customers can board the 5:47 p.m. train to Freeport, with added stops.
  • A 7:02 p.m. train from Hunterspoint Ave to Freeport will be added and operate on weekdays this period.

Far Rockaway Branch

Westbound

  • The 8:10 a.m. train from Far Rockaway to Penn Station will not operate during this period. Customers can board the 8:21 a.m. train from Far Rockaway to Penn Station with added stops.

Eastbound

  • The 4:42 p.m. train from Penn Station to Far Rockaway will originate at Atlantic Terminal.
  • The 5:32 p.m. train from Penn Station to Far Rockaway will originate at Jamaica. To reach this train from Penn Station, customers can board the 5:24 p.m. Freeport train from Penn Station, and change at Jamaica.

Hempstead Branch

Westbound

  • The 7:12 a.m. train from Hempstead to Penn Station will be diverted to Atlantic Terminal.

Eastbound

  • The 5:04 p.m. train from Penn Station to Hempstead will originate at Jamaica. To reach this train from Penn Station, customers can board the 5:01 p.m. Farmingdale train from Penn Station, and change at Jamaica.
  • The 5:38 p.m. train from Penn Station to Hempstead will originate at Atlantic Terminal.

Long Beach Branch

Westbound

  • The 8:03 a.m. train from Long Beach to Penn Station will be diverted to Atlantic Terminal.

Montauk Branch

Westbound

  • The 6:21 a.m. train from Speonk to Penn Station will depart Speonk approximately 5 minutes earlier.

Eastbound

  • The 6:16 a.m. train from Speonk to Montauk will depart Speonk approximately 5 minutes earlier.

Ronkonkoma Branch

Westbound

  • A 5:12 a.m. train from Farmingdale to Penn Station added in January will continue to operate on weekdays this period, stopping at Bethpage (5:16 a.m.), Hicksville (5:22 a.m.), Mineola (5:30 a.m.), and Jamaica (5:46 a.m.), arriving Penn Station at 6:05 a.m.
  • The 6:54 a.m. train from Central Islip to Penn Station will terminate at Jamaica.

Eastbound

  • The 1:59 p.m. train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma, which normally operates on Holiday Eves, will operate on weekdays during this period on an adjusted schedule.

Many Channels for Services Updates

Information about the service changes noted in this press release and all planned service changes is available through the LIRR’s real-time service information sources:

MYmta app – Customers who use the new, comprehensive MYmta app will see real-time travel information for LIRR and connecting services all in one place. As a caution, trains that start out their trips on time may experience delays en route. The LIRR Train Time app also remains available for customers to access LIRR train information.

myLIRR.org – Customers can see real-time positions of upcoming trains in real time, on a smartphone-optimized map that refreshes every 3- to 5-seconds, by logging into myLIRR.org.

Email and text message service updates – Customers are urged to sign up to receive the alerts by visiting MyMTAAlerts.com. To avoid unwanted messages, a user can tailor the messages to the specific branch, and the specific times of day.

MTA.info – “Service Status” at MTA.info is always the definitive source for the latest status for each LIRR branch, updated every minute. In addition, customers can visit www.mta.info/lirr to see special service notices in the upper center of the page.

@LIRR on Twitter – Twitter users can follow @LIRR to receive updates of a similar nature to the email and text alerts, shortened to fit Twitter’s format.

The above communications channels can be accessed while at home or on the go. For customers who are located at stations, the LIRR will post the latest service updates on digital signs at station platforms and will make audio announcements over public address systems, and on-board announcements made by train crews.

For those who prefer the telephone, information is available from the LIRR’s Customer Service Center by calling 511, the New York State Travel Information Line, and saying: “Long Island Rail Road” Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred service provider for the free 711 relay to reach the LIRR at 511.