Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that MTA Long Island Rail Road will resume limited weekday train service between Long Beach and Lynbrook on Wednesday, November 14th at 5:00 AM, marking the first time trains will run to the hard-hit City of Long Beach since Hurricane Sandy knocked out third-rail power to the entire branch.
"Step by step, New York's transit system is recovering from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Sandy," Governor Cuomo said. "This limited service on the LIRR Long Beach line will be a help to commuters and those who depend on this service."
Using diesel trains that dont require third-rail power, the LIRR will provide scoot service on the Long Beach Branch, making all stops between Long Beach and Lynbrook - approximately a 20 minute run.
We recognize how critical it is to the recovery to restore some level of train service to the City of Long Beach and to the communities along the branch that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy, said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. We know people have to get to work and recovery workers need to be able to reach Long Beach to help in the restoration effort. Our engineering staff and crews have been working non-stop to find a solution. This diesel service will allow us to provide transportation along the branch.
The modified service will run between 4:58 AM and 8:58 PM on weekdays.Trains will run hourly in the AM/PM peak periods with direct platform connections (in prevailing direction only) at Lynbrook and will run every two hours during the off peak period. During off peak periods, customers may have to wait at Lynbrook for up to 15 minutes for connecting service.
The Long Beach branch train service will not run on weekends or holidays, including Thanksgiving. Instead, bus service will be provided at each station between Long Beach and Lynbrook.
LIRRs peak and off-peak fares will be in effect for this service, but customers will be charged the station fare for purchasing tickets on the train from Long Beach to Centre Avenue. Power to some stations and to ticket machines along the branch remains out. The lower station fares will be charged for customers boarding at: Centre Avenue, East Rockaway, Oceanside, Island Park and Long Beach. Customers, however, are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance whenever possible to avoid delays. LIPA has restored power to the Long Beach LIRR station and the ticket office will be open. The Lynbrook ticket office also will be open five days a week during this emergency.
Three of the four electrical substations along the Long Beach branch that feed electricity to the third rail were heavily damaged by flooding. One substation in the Long Beach yard sustained damage from both sea water and sewage that overflowed from an adjacent sewage treatment plant. Electrical switches in the Long Beach yard where trains are stored and serviced were submerged and damaged by sea water. The LIRR is working to repair the damage. LIRR estimates that regular service may not resume for at least another three weeks.
The LIRR opened its Long Beach waiting room Nov. 6th as a comfort station, allowing residents to warm up, use toilet facilities and access power strips to charge cell phones and other electronic devices. In addition, the LIRR has been running a free shuttle bus service along the branch.