“Don’t take the train!”
That’s the message, more or less, for Long Island Rail Road riders this weekend.
The LIRR will run just one-third the number of trains it usually does this week and large parts of the network will be out of service completely, to be replaced with subways or shuttle buses. The same disruptions will occur the following weekend.
Officials say the measures will add up to 70 minutes of extra travel time and recommend using the railroad for “essential business travel.”
The reason: the railroad is completing a $56 million project that will replace World War I-era mechanical switches with a computerized system.
LIRR's president Helena Williams said that August’s fire at “Jamaica underscored the need for this upgrade and we ask for customer’s patience during these two weekends. The work will help ensure reliability of train service going forward."
Port Washington riders are the only ones who can rest easy. That branch will have actually have increased service, since its tracks don’t run through Jamaica. All service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn will be suspended, and few trains will operate between Penn Station and Jamaica. Instead, passengers are being asked to use the E subway line. Shuttle buses will replace trains on some lines between Jamaica and Mineola.
For more details, see the LIRR web site.