MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 27, 2018
IMMEDIATE
Double Track Completion on the Horizon: Final Phases of Work Begin
Most Work to Take Place During Off-Peak Hours; Some Peak Train Schedules Also Affected

The highly anticipated Double Track Project is entering final phases of work this spring, as Long Island Rail Road crews ready the infrastructure for its expected completion by end of summer.

Beginning Monday, April 30, through Friday, May 18, 2018, LIRR crews will work around-the-clock to connect new track to the existing second track west of Central Islip Station, while installing a third rail in that same area. Pre-testing of the signal system at Central Islip will take place during the first week, while the cutover is planned for the weekend of May 5-6. Contractors will also be working from Deer Park to Farmingdale on new track and signal systems. New track panels will be installed in Ronkonkoma in preparation of track alignment in June. At Wyandanch Station, the platform and overpass work will continue with canopies and overpass roofing installation, while, at Farmingdale, new signal huts will be placed.

During this time, service changes are necessary to allow workers to complete these key projects. Although most changes impact off-peak service, some rush-hour trains will also be affected.

Reliability and service on the Ronkonkoma Branch will be vastly improved by the Double Track Project, while also reducing delays in the event of a service disruption. Currently, along the 18-mile stretch between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma stations, only one track exists for trains running in both directions. When any issue with a train or tracks arises on this span, service becomes halted as all other east and westbound trains have no way to circumnavigate an incident train. Capacity needs have demanded expansion on this branch, as ridership on the Ronkonkoma Branch has doubled since the line was electrified in 1988. Service improvements will also be seen to and from Long Island MacArthur Airport, near the Ronkonkoma Station, while the region’s economy will benefit greatly by increased, more dependable service that will allow, for the first time, reverse-commuting capabilities during rush hours.

Following this segment of work, the LIRR will continue essential infrastructure steps in preparation for Double Track’s completion. Work details and subsequent service changes will be released as soon schedules are finalized.

Service changes for April 30-May 18 are as follows:

Ronkonkoma Branch – Weekday Special Timetable Here

Westbound:

  • The 7:04 a.m. peak train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will temporarily originate during this period at Brentwood instead of Ronkonkoma. The train will depart Brentwood at 7:15 a.m., with added stops at Jamaica and Kew Gardens, and arrive Penn Station at 8:23 a.m.  Customers who normally board this train at Ronkonkoma will board alternate trains 8 minutes earlier at 6:56 a.m. or 15 minutes later at 7:19 a.m.
  • The 4:11 p.m. off-peak train from Ronkonkoma will depart two minutes earlier at all stops through Bethpage (Departure times as follows: Ronkonkoma 4:09 p.m., Central Islip 4:16 p.m., Brentwood 4:20 p.m., Deer Park 4:25 p.m., Wyandanch 4:30 p.m., Farmingdale 4:36 p.m., Bethpage 4:41 p.m.), arriving Penn Station at 5:38 p.m.
  • The 7:13 p.m. and 7:58 p.m. off-peak trains from Ronkonkoma will be combined into a new train, departing Ronkonkoma at 7:45 p.m. (stopping at Central Islip 7:52 p.m., Brentwood 7:59 p.m., Deer Park 8:04 p.m., Wyandanch 8:09 p.m., Farmingdale 8:15 p.m., Bethpage 8:20 p.m., Hicksville 8:26 p.m., Mineola 8:36 p.m.), arriving Penn Station at 9:12 p.m.                

Eastbound:

  • The 5:11 a.m. off-peak train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma will temporarily terminate at Brentwood during this period at 6:22 a.m. Substitute bus service will be provided for customers traveling to Central Islip and Ronkonkoma. Please plan for 31 minutes extra travel time.
  • The 3:07 p.m. off-peak train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma (usual arrival time 4:25 p.m.) will depart Penn two minutes later at 3:09 p.m. and arrive Ronkonkoma at 4:30 p.m.
  • The 7:11 p.m. peak train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma (usual arrival time 8:33 p.m.) will depart Penn six minutes later at 7:17 p.m. and arrive Ronkonkoma at 8:43 p.m.

Montauk Branch – Weekday Special Timetable Here

Westbound:

  • The 6:21 a.m. peak train from Speonk will depart 2 to 3 minutes earlier at all stops through Jamaica (Departures are as follows: Speonk 6:19 a.m., Mastic-Shirley 6:35 a.m., Bellport 6:42 a.m., Patchogue 6:49 a.m., Sayville 6:56 a.m., Oakdale 7:00 a.m., Great River 7:04 a.m., Islip 7:08 a.m., Bay Shore 7:13 a.m., Babylon 7:19 a.m., Jamaica 7:58 a.m.), arriving Penn Station at 8:19 a.m. Note: the Kew Gardens stop has been removed. Change at Jamaica for service to Kew Gardens.

Additional Branches

Special weekday timetables for April 30-May 18 on additional affected branches can be found here: Babylon Branch, Port Jefferson Branch, West Hempstead Branch.

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:

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.                     

LIRR Train Time app – Customers who use the LIRR Train Time app will see up-to-the-minute status for each upcoming train at each station. As a caution, trains that start out their trips on time may experience delays en route. 

MTA.info – The rail tab of the “Service Status” box at the left side of www.MTA.info is always the definitive source for the latest status for each 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.