Hempstead Branch Service Reminder

Last Sunday, I wrote an entry about the major LIRR Queents Interlocking project that will many service changes for riders this summer throughout the Long Island Rail Road System. This entry is just to serve as a reminder of the major change in service this weekend which features the complete suspension of service on the Hempstead Branch in both directions. The MTA issued a press release to remind customers:

MTA Long Island Rail Road reminds Hempstead Branch customers that train service will be shut down this weekend, June 21 and June 22, to allow workers to install a new signal system and new switches at a key switching point called Queens Interlocking.

Bus service will replace trains between Hempstead and Jamaica on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22 and customers should expect up to 35 minutes of additional travel time if they use stations at Hempstead, Country Life Press, Garden City, Nassau Boulevard, Stewart Manor, Floral Park, Bellerose, Queens Village and Hollis.

Trains will stop running at 12:23 AM Saturday. Service will not resume until 11:59 PM Sunday. Customers should pick up a copy the gold-colored Hempstead Special Branch Timetable dated June 21-22 which details replacement bus service for the two-day period.

Customers can also minimize delays by using stations on other LIRR branches such as Mineola, Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park and West Hempstead where all trains will be operating on regular weekend schedules.

“We’re have tried very hard to minimize the inconvenience the project will cause,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “But the ultimate benefit to our customers will be a smoother and faster ride through Queens Interlocking and a reduction in maintenance-related track outages.”

The work on the Hempstead Branch is part of the LIRR’s Queens Interlocking Switch and Signal Improvement Program, a $60 million project that began Monday, June 16, and is scheduled for completion on September 1.

The upgrade will replace the current signal system with microprocessor technology and the current track switches with high-speed crossovers at an important LIRR switching point between Queens Village and Bellerose.

For additional travel information, customers can contact the LIRR’s 24-hour Travel Information Center in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in New York City at 718-217-LIRR. The Travel Information Center’s TDD telephone number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022. Customers can also consult the LIRR’s website at www.mta.info.

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