MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 14, 2018
LIRR to Perform Montauk Branch Ultrasonic Rail Tests on Monday, March 19, and Thursday, March 22
Buses Will Substitute for Mid-Day Off-Peak Trains

The Long Island Rail Road will perform routine track inspections on the Montauk Branch during off-peak mid-day hours on Monday, March 19, and Thursday, March 22, to ensure the continuing safety and reliability of the tracks. The tests will be performed using a specialized diagnostic car fitted with ultrasonic and induction test equipment and is designed to detect and repair internal rail defects not readily visible to the eye.

“The tests performed by trained teams using highly specialized equipment help us to identify areas of the rail that could eventually lead to broken rails,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “We are working to ensure safety of our trains, and to prevent broken rails and the service disruptions they can cause.”

Because these tests are being performed in areas with just a single track, train service will not operate between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and buses will substitute for trains. The tests are scheduled during off-peak hours during a quieter season for the branch in order to cause the smallest impact possible to LIRR service.


The 8:52 a.m. train from Jamaica will terminate at Babylon where buses will wait for customers and then travel to all stations through Patchogue.

Buses will substitute for the 10:27 a.m. and 11:27 a.m. departures from Babylon and will make all stops though Patchogue. In line with train schedules, the 11:27 a.m. departure will continue on making all stops to Speonk.

Customers will experience up to an additional hour of travel time (depending on destination).

For more details, customers are encouraged to review a special timetable is available at this link:,%20GO%20304.pdf


Buses will substitute for the trains that originate at Patchogue at 9:25 a.m., 10:25 a.m. and 11:25 a.m. Buses will make all local stops en route to Babylon where customers can connect to continuing train service.

Customers will experience up to 44 minutes additional travel time (depending upon station of origin).

For more details, customers are encouraged to review a special timetable is available at this link:,%20GO%20304.pdf

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.