City Life Org – Service Advisory: LIRR Announces Service Changes as Crews Prepare to Integrate Third Lane to Mainline
Some midday buses; Boarding/exiting changes at Merillon Avenue and New Hyde Park stations in August and September
Changing the track numbers of arriving trains
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) today announced that eastbound service between New Hyde Park and Westbury will see changes in August and September as crews begin to integrate the newly constructed third track to the LIRR mainline by demolishing temporary platforms and completing work and testing of track and signaling systems.
For the past two years, eastbound passengers from New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury have used temporary wooden platforms to board trains. Beneath these platforms is the new third runway. Before the LIRR can begin running trains on the new track, the wooden platforms must be removed, the track and signal systems must be completed, and testing must be carried out.
As work on the third track will be completed over the next few months, there will be significant changes to eastbound service at New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury stations, including lane changes and replacement bus connections.
Trains may run in both directions on the usual westbound track, particularly at night and at midday, to allow trains to make station stops while project crews work on the usual eastbound track at stations or near.
At other times, trains may not be able to stop at these stations, so customers will connect with bus service at other stations to reach their destination. Crews are anticipating the use of shorter temporary platforms requiring customers to be at the front of the train to exit.
For several weekends during this time, trains will not run between Jamaica and Hicksville to support this effort.
Customers can visit https://new.mta.info/mainline to find out about service changes. As the changes approach, customers can use the LIRR TrainTime app, watch platform signs and listen to announcements.
Track numbers to change
The newly constructed track will be known as Track 2 once the third track opens at each station. The central lane will be called Lane 1 and the north lane (generally westbound) will continue to be known as Lane 3 after it is renumbered in March.
From Monday August 1st to Friday August 5th
Eastbound customers going to Avenue Merillon must be in the first six cars to exit the train, except during nighttime hours between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when all trains will be running on track 3.
There will be no changes to train times or service to New Hyde Park.
From Monday August 8 to Friday August 12
All eastbound trains will bypass New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue between 5 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
A bus in Mineola will provide return service to Merillon Avenue and New Hyde Park. To service these stations, customers can take a train to Mineola and take the bus.
Customers starting their trip at New Hyde Park or Merillon Avenue will be able to board buses to Mineola, which will depart up to 30 minutes earlier than normal.
As an alternative to the bus, customers can use the Hempstead branch at nearby Stewart Manor or Nassau Boulevard stations.
Between 3:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., eastbound trains will stop at New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue, but customers will need to be in the first six cars to exit. During the evening rush hour there will also be changes to the trains that stop at these stations.
From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., trains will run on their regular schedule but will arrive on track 3 in both directions.
Trains from Oyster Bay Branch to Mineola Station
From Monday August 8, all eastbound trains to Oyster Bay will depart from platform 3 on the north side of the station. This is a permanent change as the track and switch systems just east of the station are finalized.
The 8:06 a.m. train from Jamaica to Oyster Bay will no longer run. Buses will connect with the 7:37 a.m. train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma in Mineola to serve all stations along the branch.
Place Carle and Westbury
Service changes are expected at these stations during the last two weeks of September. The project team is finalizing the plans and will update the TrainTime application once they are developed.
Many Benefits of the Main Line Expansion Project
In addition to building a third track to the main line, replacing or improving seven bridges, and eliminating eight level crossings, the LIRR expansion project included many benefits:
- Modernized and improved station houses.
- Parking garages and retaining walls constructed.
- More durable concrete railway sleepers installed.
- Old switches and signals are replaced with modernized systems and new interlocks.
- Modernized electrical systems.
- Improved landscaping installed.
The new third lane between Floral Park and Hicksville provides a transit solution to reduce traffic congestion by giving the LIRR greater operating flexibility. The railway can now operate a true two-way service during peak hours on the main line which consists of three branches (Rokonkoma, Port Jefferson/Huntington and Oyster Bay) and in the event of a service interruption, delays can be more easily managed and minimized. .
Safety along the Main Line Corridor has been significantly improved with the replacement or upgrade of seven bridges and the elimination of eight level crossings. Residents will no longer have to deal with the sound of train horns and bells at level crossings. Traffic delays due to the closure of level crossing barriers and overhead truck collisions with railway bridges will also be a thing of the past.
When the project is complete, five stations will be rebuilt, 10 miles of third track will be installed, and infrastructure such as electrical substations and interlockings will be built.
Together, the upgrades will help transform transportation in the region and provide a reliable, state-of-the-art rail system to Long Islanders. For more information on the 100+ projects that are part of the LIRR Expansion Project, visit aModernLI.com.