Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the MTA Long Island Rail Road is restoring electric train service on the Long Beach Branch beginning Sunday, November 25th. In restoring the Long Beach electric service, the LIRR will be operating on a near-normal schedule on all of its 11 branches for the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit the region.
The LIRR will operate a regular weekend schedule on the Long Beach Branch on Sunday with four additional extra holiday trains scheduled eastbound and four extra holiday trains westbound. The first Long Beach bound train will depart Jamaica at 1:32 AM. The first train originating from Long Beach will be at 3:53 AM Sunday.
On Monday, the LIRR will operate electric train service on the Long Beach branch but four trains will be canceled in the AM Peak and four will be canceled in the PM Peak as a result of the reduced peak capacity in two of Amtraks East River tunnels that were flooded during the storm. Amtrak continues their work on repairing the signal system severely damaged in their two tunnels during Superstorm Sandy. A temporary signal system now controlling train traffic in the two tunnels that were flooded allows for fewer trains per hour to operate into and out of Penn Station.
The Long Island Rail Roads Long Beach Branch was not spared the devastation that was brought upon Long Beach and the surrounding communities by Sandy, Governor Cuomo said. I commend the intensive efforts made by the LIRR to clean, repair and replace the critical components in the flood-damaged electrical substations and signal equipment to restore the vital transportation link the Railroad provides as these hard-hit communities begin to rebuild.
Restoring electric train service to Long Beach has been at the top of the LIRRs priority list, said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. We recognize the importance of regular train service as the rebuilding effort continues in the Long Beach community and other hard-hit communities all along the Long Beach branch. Our substations, which provide the power to run trains, did not escape Sandys wrath but our crews have worked tirelessly to restore power, clean and rehabilitate switches and signals so that we can resume service. We know customers depend on the LIRR to get back and forth to work and to reach NYC. Were very pleased to be able to restore the service.
LIRR employees have been working day and night in the aftermath of Sandy repairing electrical substations and critical signal equipment on the Long Beach Branch. Three of the four substations along the Long Beach branch are now back in service, including one in the Long Beach LIRR yard that also sustained damage from flooding and from the release of raw sewerage from an adjacent sewage treatment plant. Repair work continues on the Oceanside substation.
On the Long Beach Branch, approximately 1,000 electrical signal components were replaced, repaired or cleaned as LIRR signal employees worked at 21 different signal instrument locations. Their work, in part, included the repair/replacement or cleaning of: over 150 transformers, 350 relays, and 73 impedance bonds, as well as hundreds of other signal components. Work crews have already repaired or replaced over 100 high voltage connections (feeder cables to power the substations and third rail) in the yard and on the branch.
The salt-water damaged 3-megawatt substations have had switches, circuit breakers, relays and other critical substation parts cleaned, repaired or replaced. (The 3-megawatt substation, which provides the 750 volts of D.C. current to the third rail to run LIRR trains, is equivalent of powering approximately 200 homes.) Additional repair work will continue on the branch and the LIRR also will be examining ways to protect power, signal and switch equipment from the type of extreme flooding caused by Sandy.
Normal weekend, off peak fares will be charged on the Long Beach Branch on Sunday and regular fares will be in effect on Monday. However, Long Beach customers with a November monthly ticket who may have been displaced by the storm will still be able to use their monthly ticket on all other LIRR branches until December 1.
Regular Weekend & Extra Holiday Weekend Train Service
In addition to the return of normal weekend electric service, the LIRR is also adding extra weekend holiday train service on the Long Beach Branch to make travel to and from New York City more convenient for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Eight extra trains are being added to the weekend schedule four westbound trains between 9 AM and 1 PM and four eastbound trains between 4 PM and8 PM. With these additional trains, the LIRR will be providing half-hourly service during this holiday travel time period. The added weekend holiday service will be offered on the weekends through the end of the year.
Weekday Train Service
Because of the capacity reduction in Amtraks two East River tunnels, four morning rush hour and four evening rush hour trains on the Long Beach Branch will canceled as detailed below:
AM Peak Canceled Long Beach Branch Trains:
(Four trains canceled)
- The 6:54 AM from Long Beach, due Atlantic Terminal at 7:49 AM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 7:04 AM from Long Beach due Penn Station at 7:57 AM. Customers for Atlantic Terminal must transfer at Jamaica.
- The 7:23 AM from Long Beach, due Penn Station at 8:22 AM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 7:39 AM from Long Beach due Penn Station at 8:32 AM.
- The 7:56 AM from Long Beach, due Atlantic Terminal at 8:51 AM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 8:03 AM from Long Beach due Penn Station at 8:54 AM. Customers for Atlantic Terminal must transfer at Jamaica.
- The 8:08 AM from Long Beach, due Penn Station at 9:02 AM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 8:38 AM from Long Beach due Atlantic Terminal at 9:26 AM. Customers for Penn Station must transfer at Jamaica.
PM Peak Canceled Long Beach Branch Trains:
(Four trains canceled)
- The 4:40 PM from Penn Station, due Long Beach at 5:37 PM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 5:00 PM train from Penn Station, due Long Beach 5:55 PM.
- The 5:23 PM from Penn Station, due Long Beach at 6:18 PM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 5:20 PM train from Penn Station, due Long Beach 6:11 PM.
- The 7:33 PM from Penn Station, due Long Beach at 8:26 PM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 8:12 PM train from Atlantic Terminal, due Long Beach 9:03 PM. Customers at Penn Station should take the 8:08 PM from Penn Station to Babylon and transfer at Jamaica for the Long Beach Train.
- The 8:30 PM from Penn Station, due Long Beach at 9:22 PM, is canceled. Customers will be accommodated by the 9:00 PM train from Atlantic Terminal, due Long Beach 9:50 PM. Customers at Penn Station should take the 8:42 PM from Penn Station to Huntington and transfer at Jamaica for the Long Beach Train.
Near-Normal Weekday Service Now on All Branches
With the addition of the electric service on the Long Beach Branch, the LIRR is now operating a near-normal weekday and regular weekend schedule on all branches systemwide.
Starting Monday, November 26, with the addition of the Long Beach electric service, the LIRRs weekday schedule represents an average 80 percent of the LIRRs regular rush hour capacity. Twenty-six of the LIRRs 143 morning rush hour trains will be canceled or diverted to another terminal. In the evening rush hour, of the 127 trains the LIRR operates, 27 will be canceled.Overall, across the entire day, the adjustments provide for approximately 92 percent of normal weekday service capacity.
Amtrak is continuing their work to make permanent repairs to the signal system in two of their East River tunnels flooded during the superstorm. The temporary repairs, which allowed the tunnels to be reopened earlier this month, reduces the number of trains that can travel through the tunnels. Amtrak estimates that the repair to the salt water-damaged signal system is not expected to be completed until the end of the year. The LIRR has been in close contact with Amtrak on the repair plan and effort.
As a result of the reduced tunnel capacity, the LIRRs weekday schedule continues to include canceled and/or diverted trains during the morning and evening rush hours through the end of the year.
LIRR Customers Should Anticipate Crowding
Because service continues to be limited on weekdays, waits will be longer and trains will be more crowded. Customers are advised to allow extra travel time, expect 10-15 minute delays. In the evening rush hour, customers should expect crowded conditions in Penn Station. Customers are advised to stagger work hours and travel in off-peak hours, if possible, to help reduced crowding in the peak periods.
For More Information
Customers should monitor news reports, the MTA website, www.mta.info, and sign up for free E-Alerts for updates on LIRR service. Customers can also contact the LIRR's Travel Information Center by calling 511, the New York State Travel Information Line, and say: Long Island Rail Road. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider for the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 511.