MTA Press Releases

Press Release
February 4, 2021
LIRR Crews to Perform Signal Testing as Part of Main Line Expansion Project
Service Changes Effective for Two Weekends in February

Long Island Rail Road crews will perform signal testing near Merillon Avenue as part of the Main Line Expansion Project during the weekends of Feb. 6-7 and 20-21. This critical infrastructure work will require both existing Main Line tracks to be taken out of service for 48 hours each weekend between Jamaica and Hicksville, resulting in service changes on the Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branches and schedule adjustments on the LIRR’s other branches.

"Our riders have made it clear that a safe and more reliable trip is paramount to them and this vital signal testing is another major step towards that and completion of the Main Line Expansion Project,” said Phil Eng, LIRR President. “The men and women of the LIRR continue to deliver despite being in the midst of an unimaginable pandemic. I’m proud of their dedication and hard work as we strive to give Long Island the world class railroad it deserves.”

Train service will not operate on the Main Line between Jamaica and Hicksville. To provide alternative service for customers, the LIRR will operate extra trains between Penn Station and Babylon to connect with shuttle trains between Babylon and Hicksville.

The LIRR will add extra trains between Hempstead and Penn Station to serve as an alternative service option for customers traveling to/from New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury. The LIRR will provide buses between Mineola and Hempstead and between Mineola and Hicksville for connections to and from points west.

The LIRR urges customers to download and use the revamped LIRR TrainTime app, the best source of up-to-date and real-time train information including the new chat function that LIRR customers can use to chat in real-time directly with LIRR customer service staff. The app is available for a free download on both iOS Apple devices and Android.

Further service details follow.

Westbound from Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branches

Customers boarding at Ronkonkoma through Farmingdale, and Port Jefferson through Hicksville will be able to board trains at their station to Hicksville for a connection to a diesel shuttle train operating between Hicksville and Babylon via the Central Branch, then transfer at Babylon to express trains for western terminals.

Oyster Bay Branch trains will terminate at East Williston, where customers will find buses providing service to Hempstead for enhanced connecting train service to points west.

Eastbound to Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branches

Customers traveling from New York City to any station between Hicksville and Port Jefferson or between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma will be able to board express trains to Babylon for a connecting diesel shuttle train operating between Babylon and Hicksville via the Central Branch, then transfer at Hicksville for continuing eastbound service.

Customers looking to travel to Bethpage will be able to board electric express service to Babylon for a connection to a diesel shuttle train that will stop at Bethpage on its way to Hicksville.

Customers looking to travel to stations on the Oyster Bay Branch are advised to board enhanced train service to Hempstead for a bus shuttle to East Williston, where train service will be available to all Oyster Bay Branch stations.

Other Branches

There will be normal weekend service intervals on the Montauk, Long Beach, Far Rockaway, Port Washington and West Hempstead Branches and between Ronkonkoma and Greenport, but on adjusted schedules. Train departure times are available in the LIRR Train Time and MYmta apps, and customers can view branch timetables on the web below:

Babylon Branch 
Far Rockaway Branch 
Hempstead Branch 
Long Beach Branch 
Montauk Branch 
Oyster Bay Branch 
Port Jefferson Branch 
Port Washington Branch 
Ronkonkoma Branch 
West Hempstead Branch

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:

LIRR TrainTime app - The LIRR encourages customers to download and use the newly revamped LIRR TrainTime app, the best source of real-time train information including where a particular train is currently located, track assignments, seating capacity, schedules, and a host of other helpful tools, including push notifications and the new chat function that LIRR customers can use to chat in real-time directly with LIRR customer service staff. The app is available for free on both iOS and Android devices.

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.

Social Media – 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.