Service Advisory: LIRR Announces Service Changes as Crews Prepare to Incorporate Third Track to Main Line

View Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Service Changes

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) today announced eastbound service between New Hyde Park and Westbury will experience changes in August and September as crews begin incorporating the newly built third track to the LIRR Main Line by demolishing temporary platforms and completing track and signal systems work and testing.

For the past two years, eastbound riders at New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury have been using temporary wooden platforms to board trains. Underneath these platforms is the new third track. Before the LIRR can start running trains on the new track, the wooden platforms need to be removed, the track and signal systems need to be completed, and testing needs to be performed.

While work on the Third Track is being 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 track changes and substitute bus connections. Trains may run in both directions on the usual westbound track, especially at night and during the midday, to allow trains to make station stops while project crews work on the usual eastbound track at or near the stations. At other times, trains may not be able to stop at these stations, so customers will connect with bus service at alternate stations to reach their destination. Crews anticipate the use of temporary shorter platforms requiring customers to be in the front of the train to exit. On several weekends during this time, trains will not run between Jamaica and Hicksville to support this effort.

Customers can visit the MTA's Service Changes page to learn about service changes. As the changes approach, customers can use the LIRR TrainTime app, watch platform signs, and listen for announcements.

Track Numbers to Change

The newly built track will be known as Track 2 once the Third Track opens at each station. The center track will be called Track 1 and the northern (usually westbound) track will continue to be known as Track 3 following its renumbering in March.

Service Changes

Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5

Eastbound customers going to Merillon Avenue must be in the first six cars to exit the train, except during the overnight hours between 11 pm and 5 am, when all trains will run on Track 3. There will be no changes to train schedules or service at New Hyde Park.

Monday, August 8 through Friday, August 12

All eastbound trains will bypass New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue between 5 am and 3:30 pm. A bus at Mineola will provide service back to Merillon Avenue and New Hyde Park. For service to those stations, customers can take a train to Mineola and connect with the bus.

Customers who start their trips at New Hyde Park or Merillon Avenue will be able to board buses to Mineola, which will depart up to 30 minutes earlier than the normal schedule. As an alternative to busing, customers can us the Hempstead Branch at nearby Stewart Manor or Nassau Boulevard stations. Between 3:30 pm and 11 pm, eastbound trains will stop at New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue, but customers will need to be in the first six cars in order to exit. During the evening rush hour, there will also be changes to which trains stop at these stations. From 11 pm to 5 am, trains will run on their regular schedules but will arrive on Track 3 in both directions.

Many Benefits of Main Line Expansion Project

In addition to the construction of a third track to the Main Line, replacement or upgrading of seven bridges and the elimination of eight at-grade crossings, the LIRR Expansion project included numerous benefits:

  • Station houses modernized and upgraded
  • Parking garages and retaining walls built
  • Longer-lasting concrete railroad ties installed
  • Old switches and signals replaced with modernized systems and new interlockings
  • Modernized electrical systems
  • Upgraded landscaping installed

The new third track between Floral Park and Hicksville can now enable the operation of true bi-directional service during peak hours on the Main Line, which consists of three branches (Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson/Huntington and Oyster Bay). Seven bridges have been replaced and eight at-grade crossings eliminated. When the project is completed, five stations will be rebuilt, 10 miles of third track will be installed, and infrastructure such as power substations and interlockings will be built. For more information on the 100-plus projects that are part of the LIRR Expansion Project, visit the A Modern LI website.