LIRR Expects Normal Service Today

The first part of the signal modernization in & around the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station will be wrapped up in a few hours. Late yesterday afternoon, the LIRR sent out a press release to announce that they expect normal weekday service. Here are the details:

MTA Long Island Rail Road customers should expect normal weekday service Monday following successful weekend testing of a new computerized switch and signal control system at Jamaica Station.

The new control system will replace three antiquated signal towers just east and west of Jamaica Station, promising greater flexibility for train traffic, better back up systems and more reliability for LIRR customers. As of late Sunday afternoon, more than 90 percent of the testing scheduled for Oct. 23-24 in the area west of Jamaica had been completed, paving the way for normal Monday AM rush hour service.

The second part of the testing – in the area east of Jamaica – will be conducted during the weekend of Nov. 6-7 when, once again, there will be extremely limited LIRR service as the final installation of the new system is completed. Customers attending the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7th are advised to take the Port Washington, Long Beach or Babylon branches for direct service to Penn Station without bus or subway transfers.

“We greatly appreciated the cooperation and understanding of customers who traveled the LIRR this weekend in the face of significantly reduced train service into and out of New York City,” said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. “We worked hard to get the word out about the weekend work and the success of that plan made it possible to accomplish our goal.”

“I commend the hundreds of LIRR employees who worked around the clock on Saturday and Sunday to complete this critical task,” Williams added. “They will be back out again over the weekend of November 6 and November 7 to wrap up our testing at Jamaica and bring this 21st century technology to one of the busiest rail hubs in the nation.”

Trains from 10 of the LIRR’s 11 branches travel through Jamaica each day with weekday ridership exceeding 200,000 customers. LIRR ridership on Sunday was down about 54 percent compared to a normal Sunday while ridership on the Port Washington branch – the only one not impacted by the weekend work – increased by about 43 percent, according to westbound customer counts conducted between 6 am and Noon.

The $56 million Jamaica Cut-Over project is upgrading the control of LIRR’s switches and signals at Jamaica Station from electro-mechanical to state-of-the-art computerized microprocessor technology. The new more reliable system will increase operational flexibility for the large volume of trains that pass through this area, helping to reduce customer delays. The new system also will provide redundant signal control systems and will allow for quicker recovery time in the event of a power surge, or lightning storm or fire-related service disruption. The new system consolidates three tower operations into one, centralized control facility at Jamaica.

Customers are urged to pick up special weekend schedules for the second weekend of work on Nov. 6-7th. Information can also be obtained on the MTA/LIRR website at, customer e-mails, on-train brochures, NYS DOT highway INFORM signs, station posters, electronic message boards at Jamaica, Penn Station, and Atlantic Terminal, public address system announcements, radio and newspaper advertisements, on-train announcements, and an internally produced video posted on the LIRR website and on Penn Station and Jamaica monitors.

Project and service information is also available on Facebook at and on Twitter at Customers can also obtain schedule information via the CooCoo text messaging service by texting 266-266, typing in their departure and destination stations.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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