MTA Press Releases

Press Release
December 3, 2014
LIRR Customers Are Urged to Allow for Extra Travel Time This Weekend During the Installation of a New Signal System for East Side Access Project
Know Before You Go by Monitoring MTA Website & Train Time App for Possible Delays

MTA Long Island Rail Road customers traveling to and from New York City this coming weekend should build in extra travel time to anticipate the possibility of train delays and service disruptions as the LIRR undertakes an important phase of the East Side Access project, which will require closing two of four East River Tunnels connecting Queens to Manhattan and Penn Station.

Beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, December 5 and continuing through 5 a.m. on Monday, December 8, the LIRR will be installing a portion of a new computerized signal system that will control train travel through an area in Sunnyside, Queens known as Harold Interlocking. Harold is the nation’s busiest commuter rail intersection used every day by the LIRR, Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT.

This is the first in a series of necessary “cutovers” to this improved technology that will be occurring during the next several years. When complete, East Side Access will speed up travel for Long Islanders by transporting them to Grand Central Terminal and the East Side of Manhattan for the first time.

“This work is necessary to keep the East Side Access project moving forward. We urge customers to build in extra travel time during the weekend, especially in this busy holiday period,” said LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski. “We are hopeful that by working with Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT we will be able to minimize service interruptions, but we wanted to alert customers to the possibility of delays and urge them to plan accordingly.”

For More Information

Long Island Rail Road customers can find the latest travel updates by visiting or by calling the LIRR's Customer Information Center at 511 and saying: Long Island Rail Road. They may also want to join thousands of other LIRR riders who have signed up for real-time, customer service alerts via email or text at downloaded the LIRR’s Train Time app at