Metropolitan Transportation Authority logo

MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 17, 2017
IMMEDIATE
Double Track Project Work on LIRR’s Main Line This Weekend as New Platform Construction Work Begins at Wyandanch and Pinelawn
Buses to Substitute for Train Service for Pinelawn, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, Central Islip and Ronkonkoma Customers; Greenport Times Altered

Update: This press release has been revised on Friday, November 17, to reflect changes noted below related to which cars will platform at Wyandanch during platform reconstruction.

The Long Island Rail Road will continue its aggressive effort to advance the Double Track Project in Suffolk County the weekend of Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19. This work, which is set to include the beginnings of new platform constructions at Wyandanch and Pinelawn stations, a crossing renewal in Wyandanch, a switch installation near the Deer Park Station, and a signal hut relocation in Farmingdale, will affect train service on the Ronkonkoma Branch, where customers will board buses for service to and from stations at Pinelawn, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, Central Islip, and Ronkonkoma.

The Double Track Project will improve service and reliability on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch, while spurring economic activity, providing hundreds of construction jobs and improving LIRR service to Long Island MacArthur Airport. Over the past 30 years, ridership on the Ronkonkoma Branch has doubled -- gaining in popularity after electrification to Ronkonkoma was completed in 1988 – indicating the need for expansion.

The project will also aid in reducing delays in the event of a service disruption, as the 18-mile stretch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale currently only has one track available to both directions of train traffic. When an issue arises with a train, this stalls all other east and westbound trains because there is currently no way to circumnavigate the stalled train.

To allow for this work, busing will begin at 12:48 a.m. on Saturday and continue through 12:46 a.m. on Monday. Customers are encouraged to avoid routes with busing and to use the Babylon or Huntington branches with half-hourly service. Local bus service will be provided between Bethpage and Ronkonkoma.

Service changes are as follows:

Westbound

Westbound customers traveling to/from Ronkonkoma through Pinelawn will board a bus up to 44 minutes earlier than normal train times to Hicksville, where they will transfer to a westbound train.

The 10:05 a.m., 11:05 a.m., and 12:05 p.m. trains from Ronkonkoma are canceled.

Eastbound

Eastbound customers traveling to stations Pinelawn through Ronkonkoma will board a bus at Hicksville to their destination and should allow up to 44 minutes additional travel time.

Bethpag​e and Farmingdale Stations to Have Train Service All Weekend

Eastbound customers traveling to Bethpage and Farmingdale will remain on the train to their destinations. Westbound customers can board trains at Bethpage and Farmingdale.

Greenport Service

Greenport service is also affected this weekend:

  • Westbound Greenport customers detrain at Ronkonkoma and board buses 21 minutes later for service to Hicksville, where train service will resume, or board local buses for stations Central Islip through Bethpage. Passengers will arrive at western terminals up to one hour later than normal.
  • Eastbound Greenport customers will board the 8:12 a.m. or 1:12 p.m. trains from Penn Station to Hicksville, one hour earlier than normal. Customers will then connect with buses to Ronkonkoma, where train service will resume.

Motorists

Grade Crossing Renewal at Straight Path in Wyandanch

Detours will be in place this weekend for motorists traveling in the vicinity of Straight Path in Wyandanch while a new concrete grade crossing is installed. Work will take place from Friday, Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 19 at 10 p.m. Work will continue through the night and the road will be closed. Temporary pavement will be installed at the grade crossing before the road is reopened to traffic.

  • Southbound: Proceed south on Straight Path to Merritt Avenue make a right and proceed west to S 18th Street. Make a left and proceed south to Long Island Avenue. Make a left and proceed east to Straight Path.
  • Northbound: Proceed north on Straight Path to Long Island Avenue, make a left and proceed west to 18th Street, make a right and proceed north to Merritt Avenue. Make a right and proceed east to Straight Path.

Additional Details on Planned Work (No Impact to Motorists):

Switch Installation – Between Commack Road Grade Crossing and Deer Park Station

  • Switch installation work will be done on LIRR property west of Deer Park Station in Deer Park from Saturday, November 18 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, November 19, 11:59 p.m. and run continuously through the night. No traffic detours will be required for this effort.

Wyandanch Station Platform Renovation – East End of Platform Closure

  • The LIRR will be closing the eastern half of the platform at Wyandanch Station starting Saturday, November 18 12:01 a.m. This portion of the platform will be closed through May 2018.
  • Update: During the closure, westbound customers will board/exit the train from the first six cars of the train; eastbound customers will board/exit from the rear six cars of the train.
  • Two new platforms will be constructed during this effort and will include a snow melt system, new pedestrian overpass with elevators, new canopies and shelter sheds, and new amenities such as help points and WiFi.
  • To accommodate this, a temporary ADA ramp will be constructed on the west end of the platform adjacent to Straight Path and additional ADA parking will be located near the ramp.
  • Temporary access routes and detours will be installed to guide pedestrians to the western platform.
  • One of two full service ticket machines at the Wyandanch Station has been moved as a result of these platform renovations. Both ticket machines are now located along the south wall of the Wyandanch Station building.

Pinelawn Station Platform Renovation – New North Platform

  • Currently, Pinelawn is a single platform station on south side. The LIRR will begin construction of a new additional north platform during the weekend, and new piers for the platform will be installed.
  • This new platform is expected to be open by December 2017.
  • No changes to platform access will be required at this time. The existing south platform will remain open and operational. Customers should note that there are no ticket machines are available at this station; tickets can be purchased on the LIRR’s eTix app.
  • No traffic detours will be required for this effort.

Signal Hut Relocation – New Highway Grade Crossing, Farmingdale

  • The LIRR will be relocating signal equipment at New Highway Grade Crossing in Farmingdale on Saturday, November 18 starting at 4 a.m. The hut relocation is scheduled to be completed by Saturday at noon. Crews will be onsite through Sunday to perform testing of the crossing gates.
  • There will be no road closures for this portion of work.

Many Channels for Services Updates

Information about the planned 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.infois always the definitive source for the latest status for each branch, updated every minute. In addition, customers can visit www.mta.info/lirrto 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.