MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 9, 2017
North Fork Train Service Enhancements Start Monday
New Train Provides Early Afternoon Arrival in New York City, and Allows for Late Morning Departures from NYC to the North Fork; Montauk Branch Mid-Day Trains to Be Restored

A significant boost to train service on Long Island’s North Fork starts with new timetables that go into effect on Monday, November 13. A new westbound train will depart from Greenport at 9:43 a.m. making all local stops to Ronkonkoma, giving North Fork customers an early afternoon arrival in New York City, at 12:33 p.m. at Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn.

The desire to have an early afternoon arrival in New York City had been one of the top requests made by a coalition of local elected officials and community members who have been working with the LIRR to enhance East End train service. The group was led by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and included County Executive Steve Bellone, Senator Ken LaValle, Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo and many others. Officials from the Long Island Rail Road had met with the delegation to discuss the possibility of the service improvements.

“We have had a productive working relationship with the East End delegation and we are pleased to be able to respond to their requests with service enhancements that will make our train service more useful to more people,” said Patrick Nowakowski, President of the LIRR. “After months of dialog, we are now able to respond with real results to long-sought goals.”

Another new westbound train will now depart Yaphank at 6:00 p.m., serving Medford and Ronkonkoma, and offering the possibility of a future connection at Ronkonkoma as the Double Track and Main Line Expansion projects allow the LIRR to increase train service in the future.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., said: “This is an important first step in providing increased public transit to the East End. I thank the LIRR for the cooperative effort with East End officials to achieve these service enhancements. I look forward to the planned improvements for South Fork commuters in the near future that will establish increased commuter service between Speonk and Montauk.”

Senator Ken LaValle said: “I want to thank both the MTA/Long Island Rail Road and the members of the East End Task Force for the tremendous work that they have done as they meet the challenges of improving transportation. The groups have met numerous times to work to resolve the tremendous logistical issues to improve service across both the North and South Forks. These new schedules being implemented, together with those planned for the future, will result in easier, more convenient trips for the public.”

Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo said: “We are thrilled to see the implementation of the new North Fork schedule with the increased weekday departures from Greenport--as well as the ‘Fisherman’s Train’ for early morning riders heading east. We have been working with LIRR President Nowakowski, LIRR Planning and our local governments for years to find a solution that could help meet the long-term needs of the growing North Fork and the tourist influx during our summer and fall seasons. This new service is an excellent step in the right direction to not only help ease tourist traffic, but it is now a permanent commuter service that full-time residents can rely upon for daily use.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said: “This expanded service is a welcome addition for East End commuters. Transportation enhancements strengthen our communities and I applaud the Long Island Rail Road for making this smart adjustment to this branch schedule in order to meet the demands of Suffolk County’s East End.”

In order to allow for these new trains, there are several other changes to schedules between Ronkonkoma and Greenport. The existing daytime roundtrip to and from Greenport is moved two hours later. It will arrive at Greenport at 2:06 p.m. and depart at 2:43 p.m. Previously, it had arrived at 12:08 p.m. and departed at 12:58 p.m. This later midday eastbound train provides commuters with a new early option for departing from work in the late morning if/when needed, with a connecting train departing Penn Station at 11:14 a.m. (The previous eastbound departure from Penn Station was 9:11 a.m.)

The “Jury Train,” which had previously operated from Deer Park at 7:54 a.m. to Riverhead at 8:55 a.m. but had attracted only light ridership, is repurposed to allow for the additional Greenport service. It is still possible to travel to Riverhead in time for Jury Duty on newly scheduled Train 202, which arrives at Riverhead 8:14 a.m. The train originates at Ronkonkoma at 7:30 a.m. and stops at Medford and Yaphank in route to Riverhead. The post-Jury Duty return departs Riverhead at 3:21 p.m. en route to Ronkonkoma for a connecting train to Penn Station.

Rush hour service on the North Fork is not changing.

South Fork Service Enhancement Discussions Continue

LIRR and East End officials continue to plan for future enhancements to South Fork service, including the possibility of “Commuter Connection” trains serving the eastern segment of the Montauk Branch. These trains would include morning and evening service between Speonk and Montauk during prime commuting times. They are proposed for commuters whose travel is completely contained within the South Fork, with the hope of reducing traffic congestion on Montauk Highway/Route 27/Suffolk County Road 39 by providing the public with an alternative.

Montauk Branch Off-Peak Midday Service Restored between Speonk and Montauk

A track renewal project in which crews are replacing crossties between Speonk and Montauk will conclude on November 17. The conclusion of the project means that effective Monday, November 20, the LIRR is restoring four off-peak mid-day trains that since September 5 have been replaced by bus service between Speonk and Montauk.

The substitute bus service will continue to operate through November 17. Starting November 20, these four trains will be restored to their full lengths:

  • The 8:57 a.m. eastbound departure from Babylon, which temporarily had been terminating at Speonk at 9:48 a.m., will now be extended to Montauk, where it is scheduled to arrive at 10:57 a.m. after making all Montauk Branch stops.
  • The 11:25 a.m. eastbound departure from Jamaica, which temporarily had been terminating at Speonk at 1:05 p.m., will be extended to Montauk, where it is scheduled to arrive at 2:15 p.m. after making all Montauk Branch stops.
  • The westbound train that had temporarily been originating at Speonk at 12:37 p.m. will now originate at Montauk at 11:18 a.m. and make all Montauk Branch stops en route to Jamaica, where it is due to arrive at 2:12 p.m.
  • The westbound train that had temporarily been originating at Speonk at 4:14 p.m. will now originate at Montauk at 2:51 p.m. and make all Montauk Branch stops en route to Jamaica, where it is due to arrive at 5:50 p.m.

Also on the Montauk Branch, starting on November 13, the 10:38 p.m. train from Montauk will be moved up to a 10:05 p.m. departure, providing an earlier arrival at Jamaica and earlier connection to New York arriving at 1:42 a.m. instead of 2:12 a.m.

Seasonal Far Rockaway Branch Sundown Service Resumes

Beginning November 17, seasonal Friday-only sundown service will resume on the Far Rockaway Branch. A 3:15 p.m. departure from Jamaica will make all local stops to Far Rockaway, arriving there at 3:46 p.m. Customers can connect to this train from Penn Station by boarding the 2:52 p.m. train to Huntington and changing at Jamaica.

Many Channels for Services Updates

Information about the service changes noted in this press release 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.