MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 4, 2018
LIRR to Test Upgraded Signal System, Perform Port Washington Branch Positive Train Control Tests and Replace Ties on Reynold’s Channel Bridge Weekends of April 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22
Significant Service Changes Planned for Long Beach, Port Jefferson, and Port Washington Branches; Customers of All LIRR Branches Should Check Special Timetables

Long Island Rail Road crews will work on a series of important projects over the next several weekends, including tests on East Side Access signals, and Positive Train Control, as well as tie replacement on the Reynold’s Bridge, which spans Reynolds Channel and connects Island Park to the City of Long Beach.

This Friday, April 6, to Monday, April 9, and again from April 13-15, testing will be performed on a new signal system at Harold Interlocking, an important step furthering progress on the East Side Access project that will connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal. The work will begin each Friday at 10:18 p.m. and continue to 5 a.m. each Monday.

On the weekends of April 6, 13 and 20, LIRR crews will replace ties at Reynold’s Channel Bridge. To allow for this work, the Long Beach Branch between Valley Stream and Long Beach stations will be out of service on these weekends from Fridays at 10:30 p.m. until those Mondays at 3:01 a.m. Customers on this span of the branch will be accommodated by buses.

Simultaneously, the LIRR will perform critical tests needed for Positive Train Control (PTC) between Woodside and Bayside on the Port Washington Branch. Positive Train Control is a major safety enhancement for the LIRR that is designed to eliminate the potential for human error to contribute to a number of types of derailments and train-to-train collisions.

On the Port Jefferson Branch, preparations will be done in Woodbury and Huntington in anticipation of new rail to be installed in this area as part of the Continuous Welded Rail program, an ongoing initiative to renew track infrastructure assets. This work will be done on April 7-8 and 14-15 from 12:30 a.m. on Saturdays to 12:45 a.m. on Sundays. Temporary road closures at crossings at Avery Road in Woodbury, as well as Gate Drive, Rogues Path, Oakwood Road and 11th Street in Huntington may be necessary for 20-30 minutes at certain times. MTA and LIRR personnel will be on site to ensure a safe and orderly operation.

The new signal system at Harold Interlocking will ensure smooth and improved train service through the interlocking, an integral piece of infrastructure containing numerous switches that route trains across the tracks that lead to Penn Station. The new system is based on microprocessor technology, which has built-in redundancies and replaces an older hard-wired relay-based signal system.

To allow for the East Side Access, Positive Train Control and Reynold’s Channel Bridge projects, some LIRR train departure times may be altered, and train service on some branches will be adjusted.

The LIRR urges customers to view special timetables found at for a complete listing of train schedules for these weekends.

The Long Beach Branch, Port Jefferson Branch, and Port Washington Branch will experience the most notable service changes. Details are below:

Long Beach Branch

  • Westbound: Customers will board buses at stations Long Beach through Lynbrook up to 66 minutes later than normal for Valley Stream, where train service will resume. Passengers should expect up to 28 minutes additional travel time.
    • Lynbrook customers also have the option of using Babylon Branch trains stopping at Lynbrook for service to/from western terminals.
  • Eastbound: Customers will detrain at Valley Stream and board buses for stations Lynbrook through Long Beach. Passengers can expect up to an additional 28 minutes travel time.
  • A special Long Beach Branch timetable for the weekends of April 6-8 and 13-15 is available at this link.

Port Jefferson Branch

  • Electric train service to and from Huntington will operate hourly, instead of every 30 minutes. Starting around 8 a.m. Saturdays on these weekends, trains will make all local stops between New Hyde Park and Huntington. Diesel trains between Huntington and Port Jefferson will operate every two hours instead of every 90 minutes.
  • Some track adjustments may be made at Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington Station.
  • A special Port Jefferson Branch timetable for the weekends of April 6-8 and 13-15 is available at this link.

Port Washington Branch

  • Port Washington Branch trains will operate every hour instead of every 30 minutes.
  • A special Port Washington Branch timetable for the weekends of April 7-8 only is available at this link.
  • Note: Train service will be provided the weekend of April 14-15 on this branch to accommodate Mets fans traveling to Citi Field in Queens. Please refer to this Mets Supplemental Program for details.

All Other Branches

Train arrival or departure times for specific trains on all other LIRR branches may change by up to seven minutes. The LIRR encourages customers to check special timetables and/or the LIRR Train Time app for details before setting out for travel.

Special timetables for the weekends of April 6-8 and 13-15 are available at the following links:

Babylon Branch

Far Rockaway Branch

Hempstead Branch

Montauk Branch

Oyster Bay Branch

Ronkonkoma Branch

West Hempstead Branch

Note: Additional special timetables for the weekend of April 21-22 will be put online in the coming days at

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.