Port Washington Weekend Half-Hourly Service and Ronkonkoma PM Trains To Be Added in November 11 Timetable;
Greenport Weekend Service Extended
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Port Washington half-hourly weekend service will return in November along with more PM trains on the busy Ronkonkoma branch. Welcome back! The new LIRR timetables are effective Monday, November 11. A total of 32 trains per weekend day (16 eastbound and 16 westbound) will be returned to the schedule. These service improvements, including the restoration of some trains that were discontinued in 2010, reflect the LIRR’s commitment to improve service based upon customer demand. The Port Washington Branch is one of the LIRR’s most popular lines.
On the Ronkonkoma Branch, a new train will depart Penn Station at 4:09 PM, arriving in Farmingdale at 5:04 PM. The 5:01 PM peak train to Ronkonkoma will add a stop at Hicksville, and a new eastbound train will leave Penn Station at 8:22 PM, arriving in Hicksville at 9:11 PM. Reverse peak commuters will have a new westbound train to Penn Station departing Farmingdale at 7:00 PM. Meanwhile, for those who want to enjoy the beautiful North Fork during the fall months to visit wineries and shops, the LIRR is restoring Saturday/Sunday Greenport service through Thanksgiving weekend.
LIRR Takes You to LI's Largest Street Fair in Oyster Bay
The Long Island Rail Road is the way to go to the Oyster Festival on the weekend of October 19 and 20. Extra train service will be provided throughout the weekend and the LIRR’s Oyster Bay Station is just down the street from the heart of the Festival. In addition to the renowned oyster-eating contests there are food vendors and arts and crafts booths galore. Visitors to the Festival can also explore the tall ships and the other waterfront exhibits. The LIRR’s package ticket includes round-trip rail fare to/from Oyster Bay Station, vouchers for three free oysters on the half-shell for the adults, and free admission to the Slide for the children. Shuttle buses will also be available from the LIRR’s Syosset Station, making the Festival accessible from the east on the Port Jefferson Branch. For further information check out our website. For a schedule of Festival events visit theoysterfest.org.
LIRR Takes Steps To Leave "Slip" Out of Fall
A highlight of autumn for many people is watching the change of leaf colors as trees prepare for the upcoming winter. A downside of this seasonal phenomenon for the LIRR: colorful leaves eventually fall off the trees and end up on our tracks. Crushed leaves, combined with rain and morning dew, deposit pectin on the running rails, which causes slippery track conditions, similar to icy roads faced by winter motorists. In these conditions, train wheels can lose traction, slip when accelerating and slide when braking, resulting in flattened wheels, bumpy rides and shorter trains when cars have to be removed from service for wheel repairs. To combat slippery rail conditions and to maintain our focus on safety, the LIRR has rolled out its "fall battle plan." Our preparations include the use of sandite (a sand mixture) that is spread on the tracks at key locations; a special train that uses high-pressure water jets to scour pectin from tracks and switches; and a railbrush car that sweeps pectin off the tracks. As a preventive measure we have also enhanced our vegetation management program and we’re keeping computerized records of all the slippery spots reported by our crews, so we can target problem areas. If you want to learn more about these efforts, check out the video at mta.info.
Trackwork is one of the Railroad’s most important maintenance functions, assuring a state of good repair and a smooth ride. We apologize for the inconvenience and recognize that these interruptions result in temporary service impacts for our customers. There are a number of major trackwork programs this fall, including:
Port Jeff & Ronkonkoma Branches
If you’re traveling on Sunday, October 20, look for buses to replace trains starting at the stroke of midnight while the LIRR performs trackwork and switch replacement on two of our busy branches. Busing between Port Jefferson & Huntington will last for sixteen hours from midnight until 4 PM. On the Ronkonkoma Branch, buses will provide service for late night and early morning travelers between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, for 5 hours (9:16 PM - 2:08 AM). Westbound buses between Ronkonkoma and Bethpage will depart 24 minutes earlier than the usual weekend train times. Sunday customers for both branches should plan ahead for up to 30 minutes of additional travel time.
Hempstead Branch Busing
Trackwork between Jamaica and Bellerose will affect Hempstead Branch train service on the weekend of October 26 and 27. During this project, which entails resurfacing a switch and two of the four tracks in the area, Hempstead Branch trains will not operate east of Jamaica. Westbound Hempstead Branch customers will board buses up to 32 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled trains at stations Hempstead through Hollis – with the exception of Country Life Press where van service will depart 50 minutes earlier than normal – for travel to Jamaica, where train service resumes for points west. Eastbound Hempstead Branch customers will take the train as far as Jamaica where they will board buses for stations Hollis through Hempstead, arriving up to 33 minutes later than normal depending on their destination. Customers destined for Country Life Press will board vans and arrive 49 minutes later than normal.
Babylon Branch for Two Weekends
One of two tracks between Freeport and Amityville will be out of service for switch replacement during the weekend of November 2/3 and again on November 9/10. Saturday and Sunday train service between Babylon and Freeport will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly. So plan ahead if you are attending the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 3rd. Customers can take trains 30 minutes earlier or 30 minutes later. Additionally, during a five-hour overnight period on both weekends, buses will replace all trains between Freeport and Babylon while both tracks are taken out of service. Customers should anticipate up to 20 minutes of additional travel time. Special timetables will be issued for these weekends.
Montauk Branch Midday Weekdays
A grade crossing renewal program on the Montauk Branch between Babylon and Sayville will affect midday train service weekdays from Tuesday, November 12 through Friday, November 22. Three eastbound and three westbound midday trains will be cancelled to accommodate modernization of the Second Avenue crossing in Bay Shore. Buses will accommodate customers on the cancelled trains.
Customers can contact 511 for additional information on the preceding track programs and their impact on train service, or consult the LIRR website.
Jamaica Station Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary With A Face-lift
On October 23rd we’ll be celebrating the completion of the rehabilitation work at our Jamaica headquarters along with the centennial of the modern day Jamaica LIRR station complex. Although Jamaica was one of the LIRR’s original stations (Brooklyn, now Atlantic Terminal, was the other one), the station was first located at street level. Due to the steady growth of the Jamaica area, it became necessary to raise the entire LIRR Jamaica complex including tracks, platforms and more than 20 grade crossings above street level. This tremendous engineering feat was completed in 1913. More than 100 years later Jamaica is still the hub of the LIRR and functions much as it was intended to by its builders. The face-lift of the LIRR headquarters building is part of our effort to be a good neighbor and help improve the Greater Jamaica community, including a spruce up of the Jamaica waiting room and ticket office with better lighting and a new seating area for ticketed customers. If you happen to be in the area on October 23 at 11 AM please drop by for the rededication ceremony and a free concert by the Oyster Bay High School band, playing Paul Moravec’s "Change at Jamaica" in the lobby of the Jamaica AirTrain JFK Building.
Overall on-time-performance for September was 94.04%.
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