MTA Press Releases

Press Release
February 6, 2018
Service Advisory: Buses to Substitute For Trains on Section of Ronkonkoma Branch This Weekend

The Long Island Rail Road today announced that this weekend, February 10-11, 2018, from Saturday at 12:48 a.m., through 12:40 a.m. on Monday, buses will substitute for trains to/and from stations at Hicksville, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Pinelawn, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, Central Islip, and Ronkonkoma as the LIRR works to install a new switch and perform other construction related to the Double Track Project.
This work had been previously scheduled for the weekend of January 20-21, but was postponed and rescheduled for this coming weekend.

The new switch will be installed between the 18th Street and Little East Neck Road crossings in Wyandanch, while the track work will take place between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. Construction will continue on the platform renovations at Pinelawn and Wyandanch stations.

The Double Track Project, upon completion, will improve service and reliability on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch, while spurring economic activity, and improving LIRR service to Long Island MacArthur Airport. 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.

The project will also aid in reducing delays in the event of a service disruption, as the 18-mile stretch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale currently only has one track available to both directions of train traffic. When an issue arises with a train, this stalls all other east and westbound trains because there is currently no way to circumnavigate the stalled train.

No traffic detours will be required for this effort.

Special weekend timetables will be available at stations and at

Service changes are as follows:


• Customers should board regularly scheduled Port Jefferson Branch trains to Hicksville to connect with bus service to all stations Bethpage through Ronkonkoma.
• Customers can expect up to 44 minutes additional travel time.


• Westbound customers traveling from stations Ronkonkoma through Bethpage will board buses at their station, up to 44 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled train times, for Hicksville, where they will transfer to train service.
• Note: Since Ronkonkoma Branch trains are being cancelled for this program, customers in both directions will board alternate trains between Hicksville and points west to connect to/from buses.


• Passengers will board trains the 8:22 a.m. or 1:22 p.m. from Penn Station to Hicksville, where they will detrain for buses to Ronkonkoma, where normal train service will resume.
• Passengers boarding at stations Bethpage through Central Islip will board a local bus for Ronkonkoma, where normal train service will resume.
• Passengers will detrain at Ronkonkoma, and board buses 21 minutes later for Hicksville, where train service will resume.
• Passengers 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 destination.

Many Channels for Service Updates

Information about the service change 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.