MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 24, 2018
LIRR to Perform Double Track Work on Main Line, Port Washington Branch Positive Train Control Tests and Rail Replacement on Atlantic Branch
Bus Service to Substitute For Trains Between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma the Weekend of April 28-29; Other Service Changes Noted in Special Timetables

Long Island Rail Road crews will be deployed on several branches throughout the system this weekend, April 28-29, performing important work on the Double Track Project on the Ronkonkoma Branch; Positive Train Control tests on the Port Washington Branch; and rail replacement on the Atlantic Branch. This work will require some changes to train schedules, as noted below.

“Planned track work is an essential part of our infrastructure renewal progress, to both keep our system in a state of good repair while embarking on transformative projects that will change the way Long Island gets around,” LIRR President Phil Eng said. “We thank our customers for their patience as we make necessary adjustments to our weekend service schedules to maximize our work product while mitigating disruptions.”

The Double Track Project will improve service and reliability on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch, and reduce delays in the event of a service disruption. With only a single track for trains running in both directions along the 18-mile stretch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale, service becomes halted when any issue arises, as all other east and westbound trains have no way to circumnavigate an incident train. Over the past 25 years, ridership on the Ronkonkoma Branch has doubled -- growing in popularity since the line was electrified in 1988 – indicating the need for expansion. This initiative will also spur economic activity, and improve LIRR service to Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Work on the Double Track Project this weekend will include:

  • At the west end of the existing Central Islip interlocking: A switch will be removed, with the existing track to be realigned.
  • West of Central Islip: Track surfacing and the installation of signal cables to continue.
  • At Wyandanch Station: The steel for the overpass and tower roof will be put into position on Saturday, with roof construction to follow.
  • Farmingdale: New signal huts will be installed.

Following a spate of broken rails this winter that impacted train service, LIRR crews, in a proactive measure to ensure reliability, will replace rails just east of East New York Station. At this location, the rails on Track 1 were recently replaced, and crews will work on Track 2 this weekend.

Service changes for the weekend of April 28-29, 2018 are as follows:

Ronkonkoma Branch – Special Timetable Here

Beginning Saturday, April 28, after the arrival of a train in Farmingdale at 12:50 a.m., until Monday, April 30 when the 12:46 a.m. departs Ronkonkoma, the track will be out of service for Second Track work. While the LIRR encourages customers to avoid busing by using the Babylon Branch, with half-hourly service, bus service will be provided for customers traveling between LIRR stations at Hicksville, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Pinelawn, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, Central Islip and Ronkonkoma. 

  • All trains this weekend on the Ronkonkoma Branch will originate/terminate in Hicksville.
  • Eastbound: Hicksville through Ronkonkoma customers will board a bus at Hicksville for the balance of their trip. Customers should expect up to 46 minutes of additional travel time.
  • Westbound: Ronkonkoma through Hicksville customers will board a bus up to 46 minutes earlier than normal train times bound for Hicksville, where train service resumes.
  • Local bus service will be provided between Bethpage and Ronkonkoma.
  • Greenport-bound passengers will board trains one hour earlier than normal for Hicksville, where they will detrain for buses to Ronkonkoma, where normal train service will resume east.
  • Greenport customers traveling westbound will detrain at Ronkonkoma and board buses 21 minutes later for Hicksville, where train service will resume. Customers will arrive at Western Terminals 1 hour later than normal. Passengers traveling to stations Central Islip through Bethpage will board a local bus at Ronkonkoma to their final destinations.

Atlantic Branch

  • Midday service on Saturday and Sunday between Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly.
  • Late-night service will be suspended on the Atlantic Branch from Friday night at 11:40 p.m. until 5 a.m. Saturday; again from 11 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. Sunday; and from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, April 30.
  • New York City Transit will be cross-honoring LIRR tickets on subway lines at or near the affected stations from 10:45 p.m. until 1:45 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Port Jefferson Branch – Special Timetable Here

  • Huntington service is reduced from half-hourly to hourly with trains during this time making all local stops from New Hyde Park to Huntington.
  • Other trains will have adjusted schedules.
  • Port Jefferson service is reduced from 90-minute intervals to every 2 hours, with alternate connections west of Huntington.

Port Washington Branch – Special Timetable Here

  • Both east and westbound service is reduced from half-hourly to hourly.

Other Branches

Some trains will run on adjusted schedules and have affected connections on other branches. Click on the branch name to view special timetables for this weekend: Babylon BranchFar Rockaway BranchHempstead BranchLong Beach BranchMontauk BranchOyster Bay BranchWest 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 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. – The rail tab of the “Service Status” box at the left side of is always the definitive source for the latest status for each branch, updated every minute. In addition, customers can visit 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.