MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 2, 2017
LIRR Ultrasonic Rail Tests on Nov. 4 and Nov. 6 Will Help Ensure Safety and Reliability of the Rails
Buses to Substitute for Four Overnight Trains at Plandome, Manhasset and Port Washington on Nov. 4, and Six Montauk Branch Mid-Day Off-Peak Trains on Nov. 6

In order to ensure the continuing safety and reliability of the rails, the Long Island Rail Road will perform routine ultrasonic rail tests on the eastern Port Washington Branch on Saturday, Nov. 4, and on the Montauk Branch on Monday, Nov. 6, during off-peak hours.

The tests are performed by the Sperry Rail Car, a bright yellow train fitted with ultrasonic and induction test equipment and is designed to detect internal defects inside the running rails that are not readily visible to the eye. Defects that are found will be corrected immediately by LIRR track maintenance workers.

Because these tests are being performed in areas with just a single track, train service will not operate on select hours as noted below, and bus service will substitute for trains. The tests are scheduled overnight in order to cause the smallest impact possible to LIRR service.

Saturday, Nov. 4: Port Washington Branch

At Manhasset, Plandome and Port Washington, buses will substitute for two eastbound trains and two westbound trains between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.


The trains that depart from Penn Station at 1:18 a.m. and 3:04 a.m. will terminate at Great Neck. Customers bound for Manhasset, Plandome or Port Washington will be able to connect with buses that will travel to those stations. Customers should plan for up to 29 additional minutes of travel time.

For full schedule details, click the link below for a special timetable related to this planned service change:


The trains that normally depart from Port Washington at 2:10 a.m. and 4:10 a.m. instead will originate at Great Neck at their normal times. Customers looking to travel from Port Washington, Plandome or Manhasset will be able to board buses to Great Neck to connect with regularly scheduled train service. Buses depart up to 30 minutes earlier than normally scheduled trains.

For full schedule details, click the link below for a special timetable related to this planned service change:

Monday, Nov. 6: Montauk Branch

Buses will substitute for five round-trip off-peak mid-day trains operating between Babylon and Speonk between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


The train that originates at Jamaica at 8:52 a.m. will terminate at Babylon, where customers for Bay Shore, Islip, Great River, Oakdale, Sayville or Patchogue will be able to connect with buses stopping at those six stations.

Buses will substitute for the two trains the normally originate at Babylon at 10:27 a.m. and 11:27 a.m. Buses will make all stops of the scheduled trains: Bay Shore, Islip, Great River, Oakdale, Sayville, and Patchogue, and the 11:27 a.m. departure will also stop at Bellport, Mastic-Shirley and Speonk.

Customers will experience up to 23 minutes additional travel time, depending upon destination.

For full schedule details, click the link below for a special timetable related to this planned service change:


Buses will substitute for the three trains that normally originate at Patchogue at 9:25 a.m., 10:25 a.m. and 11:25 a.m. Customers looking to board trains at Patchogue, Sayville, Oakville, Great River, Islip or Bay Shore should ride those buses to Babylon for connecting train service. Customers will connect with Babylon Branch local trains that will depart at 10:48 a.m., 11:48 a.m. and 12:48 p.m., respectively.

Buses will depart up to 36 minutes later than normally schedule train departure times, and customers’ overall travel times will increase by up to 27 minutes.

For full schedule details, click the link below for a special timetable related to this planned service change:

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.