Striving to Deliver the Service You Deserve: Jan. 2020 Performance Metrics
The Long Island Rail Road is coming off a 2019 filled with improvements: from an unprecedented amount of maintenance and construction work and carrying modern-record ridership – while still delivering on-time performance gains -- to launching new customer-service initiatives, and increasing customer and community outreach.
We continued that trend of success last month, when we posted the highest January on-time performance since 2012. This January, the LIRR’s monthly OTP reached 93.3%. While just slightly higher than January 2019’s figure of 92.7%, the improvements we’ve made stand out much more starkly when you look back to January 2018, when January OTP stood at just 83.9%. Not only did January 2020 OTP climb nearly 10 percentage points, it did so while we ran 570 more trains than we did in January 2018 – overall, that translates into more than 1,900 trains that operated on time last month than two years ago.
But our improvements are not confined to more trains on time. Another area where we’ve improved is average delay per late train. Ideally, no trains would be delayed; but when delays do occur, we make every effort to minimize the impact and restore regular service. Our average delay per late train this January was 10.1 minutes, the lowest since we began modern recordkeeping (1996) and significantly better than January 2019 (12.0) and January 2018 (15.3).
Similarly, we’ve made dramatic gains in reducing the number of trains delayed by 15+ minutes. In January 2020 there were 133 trains delayed more than 15 minutes, which once again represents significant improvements over January 2019 (249 trains) and January 2018 (808 trains).
We will remain laser-focused on sustaining and building on these accomplishments, while continuing to carry out an unprecedented level of modernization projects to fortify infrastructure, expand capacity and enhance accessibility across the LIRR system.
New March 9 Timetables: Trains Affected by Amtrak’s Penn Station Renewal Project Restored
New timetables go into effect on Monday, March 9, 2020 and continue through May 17, 2020. As Amtrak’s state-of-good-repair trackwork at Penn Station shifts to lower tracks, rush-hour trains that had been canceled or diverted will be restored. Ronkonkoma Branch customers should pay close attention to the new schedules, as there will be some Reverse-Peak service changes due to resumption of concrete tie replacement work. Key details of the new timetables include:
- The 6:56 AM train from Wantagh, currently diverted to Atlantic Terminal, will resume operating to Penn Station.
- The 7:41 AM train from Merrick, currently terminating at Jamaica, will depart 3 minutes later at 7:44 AM and resume operating to Penn Station.
- The Forest Hills stop has been removed from the 8:03 AM local train from Babylon to Penn Station, as the train that previously stopped there is no longer being diverted.
- The 8:25 AM train from Freeport, currently diverted to Atlantic Terminal, will resume operating to Penn Station.
- The 5:35 PM Reverse-Peak train from Babylon to Penn Station will no longer stop at Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, as the train that previously stopped there is no longer being diverted.
- The 5:36 PM train from Penn Station to Babylon will resume operating express to Massapequa.
- The 5:43 PM train from Atlantic Terminal to Babylon will resume its former departure time of 5:45 PM.
- The temporary extra eastbound train to Freeport, departing Hunterspoint Avenue at 7:02 PM, will be removed from the schedule.
Far Rockaway Branch
- The 8:10 AM train from Far Rockaway to Penn Station will be restored to the schedule.
- The 5:32 PM train from Penn Station to Far Rockaway, currently originating in Jamaica at 5:52 PM, will resume operating from Penn Station.
- The 5:53 PM Reverse-Peak train from Far Rockaway to Atlantic Terminal will resume operating to Penn Station.
- The 5:38 PM train from Penn Station to Hempstead, currently departing from Atlantic Terminal at 5:46 PM, will resume operating from Penn Station.
- The 7:05 PM train from Penn Station to Hempstead, currently departing from Atlantic Terminal at 7:09 PM, will resume operating from Penn Station.
Long Beach Branch
- The 3:58 AM train from Long Beach to Atlantic Terminal will add stops at East New York (4:38 AM) and Nostrand Avenue (4:43 AM).
- The 7:56 AM train from Long Beach to Atlantic Terminal will resume stopping at East New York and Nostrand Avenue.
- The 8:03 AM train from Long Beach, currently diverted to Atlantic Terminal with an added stop at Jamaica, will resume operating express to Penn Station.
Port Jefferson Branch
- The 5:06 PM express train from Penn Station to Syosset, Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington will be restored to the schedule.
- The 5:33 PM train from Penn Station to Hicksville will no longer have added stops at Syosset and Cold Spring Harbor.
Port Washington Branch
- The temporary extra eastbound train to Great Neck, departing Penn Station at 3:40 PM, will operate on Holiday Eves only.
- The 5:50 PM train from Penn Station to Great Neck will be restored to the schedule.
- The 6:47 PM Reverse-Peak train from Great Neck to Penn Station will depart 3 minutes earlier, at 6:44 PM.
- The 5:30 AM train from Greenport to Ronkonkoma will depart 5 minutes earlier, at 5:25 AM.
- The 5:42 AM train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will stop at Farmingdale one minute earlier, at 6:08 AM. Other station stops are unchanged.
- The 6:07 AM Reverse Peak train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma will depart 24 minutes earlier, at 5:43 AM.
- The 7:57 AM train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will no longer stop at Kew Gardens, as the train that previously stopped there is no longer being diverted.
- The temporary extra eastbound train to Ronkonkoma, departing Penn Station at 1:30 PM, will operate on Holiday Eves only.
- The 5:57 PM Reverse Peak train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will depart 13 minutes earlier, at 5:44 PM
- The 6:36 PM Reverse Peak train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will depart 15 minutes earlier, at 6:21 PM.
West Hempstead Branch
- The 7:34 AM train from West Hempstead to Penn Station will resume its former departure time of 7:36 AM.
Off-Peak Service Changes
Ronkonkoma Branch – Weekdays, Weekends (Overnights/Early Morning)
Weekday and weekend schedules will be adjusted as LIRR forces perform concrete tie installation and track replacement work between Farmingdale and Wyandanch. Off-Peak weekday schedules are adjusted up to 17 minutes earlier. On weekends, some overnight/early-morning trains will depart between 12 minutes earlier and 16 minutes later.
Montauk Branch – Weekends (Overnights)
Overnight eastbound trains will depart between six minutes earlier and seven minutes later, and overnight westbound trains will depart between two minutes earlier and one minute later, as LIRR forces perform third-rail maintenance between Wantagh and Amityville.
Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay Branches – Weekdays & Weekends (Overnights)
Overnight schedules on the Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay Branches will be adjusted slightly to accommodate LIRR Expansion Project work between Queens Village and New Hyde Park. On the Port Jefferson Branch, eastbound trains will depart up to 3 minutes earlier, and westbound trains will depart between 4 minutes earlier and 8 minutes later. On the Oyster Bay Branch, eastbound trains will depart between 7 minutes earlier and 7 minutes later.
To learn more, pick up a copy of the new timetables at stations and terminals, or view them on the MTA website.
Service Alert This Weekend for Babylon Branch Customers: No Train Service between Babylon and Rockville Centre, Feb. 29 - March 1; Buses Available
On the weekend of February 29 - March 1, train service between Babylon and Rockville Centre will be suspended as LIRR forces perform critical work on the Meadowbrook Substation in Freeport and the new Massapequa Pocket Track. Buses will substitute for trains between Babylon and Rockville Centre, and train service between Rockville Centre and Penn Station will be reduced to hourly. Please plan for up to 45 minutes of additional travel time.
Montauk Branch service will be affected as well, as schedules east of Babylon will be adjusted to accommodate connecting bus service.
To avoid busing, transfers and delays, customers are strongly advised to use alternate branches, including the Hempstead, Huntington/Port Jefferson, Long Beach and Ronkonkoma branches. To lessen the impact to customers, we will add cars to some Montauk Branch trains and increase service on the Ronkonkoma Branch (three extra trains in the morning/midday and three in the early evening).
The Meadowbrook Substation Replacement Project will provide increased third-rail power for our electric fleet and the Massapequa Pocket Track will facilitate turning trains east of Massapequa Station, increasing service flexibility and improving reliability. We appreciate your patience as we work to modernize the LIRR system.
Click here to learn more, including parking availability at alternate stations and special timetables for this weekend.
March & April Look-Ahead: Upcoming Weekend Track Work Programs
Ronkonkoma Branch: March 7-8
On the weekend of March 7-8, there will be schedule changes to accommodate trackwork between Bethpage and Farmingdale. Eastbound and westbound trains will depart between 15 minutes earlier and 15 minutes later than normal train times. Connecting service will be adjusted accordingly.
Ronkonkoma Branch: March 28-29 & April 4-5
Buses will substitute for trains between Brentwood and Ronkonkoma on the weekends of March 28-29 and April 4-5 as a track tie replacement program is performed to maintain our system in a state of good repair.
Port Washington Branch: March 7-8, March 14-15, March 21-22 & April 4-5
On the weekends of March 7-8, March 14-15, March 21-22, and April 4-5, Port Washington Branch service will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly. These service changes will support the renovation of Douglaston Station as well as signal testing related to the East Side Access (ESA) Project.
Babylon Branch: March 14-15 & March 21-22
On the weekends of March 14-15 and 21-22, some Babylon Branch trains will terminate/originate in Jamaica as tracks in the in the southern portion of Harold Interlocking will be out of service to support the testing of new signals and infrastructure. The reconfiguration and resignalization of Harold Interlocking, which is located outside the East River Tunnels, is a vital component of the East Side Access (ESA) Project.
To learn more, pick up a copy of the Special Trackwork Timetables for these projects, available soon at stations and terminals, or view online here.
Celebrating New ADA Elevators + Other Amenities at Nostrand Avenue Station Modernization
Following the completion of extensive renovations on January 31, Nostrand Avenue became the 106th (out of 124) accessible LIRR stations. In addition to the station’s two new elevators, one for each platform, station enhancements include new platform canopies, new staircases, brighter lighting, digital message boards that can provide customized messaging, new tactile striping, and a vibrant glass artwork installation created by a local artist.
We look forward to serving current and future generations of Brooklyn customers at this transformed station, and hope that the improvements to comfort, safety, aesthetics and accessibility create a better commute for all.
MTA Launches Agency-Wide Awareness Campaign to Deter Hate Crimes
“Hate Has No Place in Our Transportation System,” a new public awareness campaign aimed at combating hate crimes, is rolling out on digital screens at the LIRR and our sister agencies. The LIRR has zero tolerance for bias-motivated threats or harassment, and we are hopeful that this new campaign, which promotes messages of kindness, respect and solidarity, will help ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all users of our system.
To report bias-motivated threats, harassment, discrimination, or graffiti call 1-888-392-3644 or text “HATE” to 81336. To report a crime in progress, tell an MTA employee or police office or call 911 immediately.
St. Patrick’s Day Service, March 17 – Extra Service to and from Penn Station for Annual Parade
The LIRR has scheduled 16 extra trains – six westbound morning trains and 10 eastbound afternoon trains – to accommodate customers traveling to and from the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan on Tuesday, March 17. The additional trains will supplement the LIRR’s regular weekday schedule and begin after the AM Peak period.
We recommend purchasing Round-Trip tickets, including MetroCards for connecting subway and bus service, in advance to save time and avoid lines at LIRR Ticket Windows and Ticket Machines. Buying tickets onboard the train costs more. Customers who do not need to purchase a MetroCard can also buy their LIRR tickets via MTA eTix.
To maintain orderly travel for customers, alcoholic beverages will not be permitted on trains, platforms or at stations from 12:01 AM, Tuesday, March 17 through 5 AM, Wednesday, March 18. Any alcoholic beverages found by MTA Police on trains, stations and platforms will be confiscated.
New Hyde Park Modernization Underway
Major construction commenced earlier this month in New Hyde Park as part of the LIRR Expansion Project. Two milestones were met: the grade crossing at New Hyde Park Road closed to prepare for construction of a bridge to span the crossing, and two temporary platforms, west of the existing station, opened to provide service for New Hyde Park customers while the current station is rebuilt and modernized.
The bridge, which is scheduled to be moved into place this summer, is the third of eight LIRR grade crossing elimination projects that will increase service reliability, reduce noise pollution and improve traffic flow. The grade crossing elimination will also enhance safety by preventing cars from being stranded on the tracks, and improve the environment by removing the need for vehicles to idle behind lowered crossing gates … making it a true win-win for our customers and the surrounding community.
Station enhancements will include new 12-car platforms, platform canopies, security cameras, ADA-compliant ramps, new bike racks, and interior renovations and amenities to the station building including USB charging stations, Wi-Fi and digital information displays.
The LIRR Expansion Project will add a third track along nearly 10 miles of right-of-way between Floral Park and Hicksville, increasing capacity, improving reliability and creating new service opportunities.
Rock of Ages - Ride Free to the Show
Rock of Ages is coming back to Broadway to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The Rock of Ages electric score features all your favorite ‘80s rock anthems and power ballads. Ride free to the show and rock with us!
For tickets, show times and more information, please click here.
Use code “RKLIRR220” at checkout.
Offer includes one Round-Trip rail ticket per show ticket purchased.* Rail tickets are sent via US mail.
*While supplies last. Must order 7-10 business days prior to the show to allow for the delivery of rail tickets.
LIRR Ticket Restrictions
Rail tickets are valid on the day of the show for any train arriving at Penn station after 9:30 AM, or anytime on weekends, and returning on any eastbound train up until 4 AM on the next day. Rail tickets have no cash value and are not refundable.
Your Voice Counts: Feedback from Across the System
LIRR customers let us know how we are doing across our communication channels. We are delighted when we receive Comment Cards, letters and social media postings from customers about our employees, trains, service enhancements and initiatives such as LIRR Care. Here are a few of the most recent “shout-outs.”
I left my backpack on Babylon Branch to Rockville Centre. Contents of my bag were very valuable – work laptop, iPad and Airpods, passport, workbook and client notes. I received a call from Babylon LIRR office. He told me they had found my bag with all contents in the bag.
Thank you so much! LIRR saved the day! – James from Oceanside via Comment Card
I wish to acknowledge two individuals who are quintessential professionals, Jackie H and Dave M. Both individuals are ticket agents in the Ronkonkoma train station. I was traveling to Brooklyn. As I approached the ticket window in the station I was met with a kind and engaging smile. Jackie H. was patient and kind as she explained to me the various options I had. I have profound hearing loss and wear hearing aids. It is extremely difficult for me to hear in noisy public spaces. Jackie never faltered, never lost her smile and continued to patiently explain to me what I needed to do.
It so happened that day that there was an issue with the train track(s). Therefore, there were multiple overhead announcements. I verbalized my concern that I might miss the train because I may not be able to discern the announcements. She explained my concern to Dave M. She asked him to walk with me outside and escort me to the track once the announcement was made. Again, I was met with a welcoming and engaging smile. Dave M. escorted me outside and was the perfect gentleman. After the announcement, he escorted me to the train track and waited until I was seated on the correct train.
My gratitude and appreciation to both cannot be expressed. If each of us acted as Jackie and Dave do, the world would indeed be a better place. – Barbara Ann from East Setauket via Letter
I lost my wallet on the train. Judy, a customer assistant, was amazing. She walked back to the train with me and we looked everywhere. She got other staff to look also, then the MTA police came and helped out as well. Excellent job everyone! Thank you. In the end, someone else had found the wallet and mailed it to me with everything still inside. – Henry J from Jamaica via Comment Card
I want to take the time and say what a pleasant experience Conductor #6759 provides in the AM commute. Kind, respectful, honest. Always pleasant and helpful. Makes the daily commute a little easier. – Alice N from Jericho via Comment Card
After missing my train and still running to Penn to catch the next train, Brian R. helped me download the Train Time app. Super helpful – now, if I miss the train again, I’ll know when the next one is coming. – Derek from Valley Stream via Comment Card
Not used to using the LIRR but needed to buy tickets today. I was serviced by the most delightful ticket agent, Deana, at Baldwin Station. She had the best smile and helped with questions in the most delightful way. Please let her know I appreciate her service. – Janice via Comment Card
With all the work being done (and weekend scheduling), I went into today concerned the trains would be a bit hectic for the Islanders game. However, all major stations had plenty of staff roaming the platforms advising everyone of what’s going on. Kudos @LIRR – Jason from Islip via Twitter
Riding on a brand new LIRR train and all I can say is wow. #lirr @LIRR absolutely beautiful, clean and outlets everywhere! – AChap via Twitter
Hey @LIRR normally to visit the fam, I take the Ronkonkoma Branch. With all the info and heads up, my trip on Babylon has been seamless. Thank you. –Jillian via Twitter
@LIRR on train 2703, 7:57 out of Hicksville. Engineer clearly announced that there will be restricted speeds due to a bridge issue. Great communication and thank you for letting the riders know! 🙂👍 – Slahom Ski via Twitter
Wait for The Gate
Railroad grade crossings are a common element of traffic safety in many Long Island communities. Their lowered gates, flashing lights and ringing bells warn of a train’s approach. In areas where there are two or more tracks, more than one train may be approaching. Please wait for the gates to raise completely before proceeding across the tracks Never go under or around lowered gates – the life you save could be your own!
It's Cold and Flu Season
The latest reports from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show that flu activity in the U.S. remains high and widespread. To help combat the spread of flu, please:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home while you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm for more information.
LIRR in History: Sperry Railcar Takes Siding at Yaphank
Click to download full size
The Sperry Rail Car, a bright yellow, self-propelled train car equipped with ultrasonic and induction test equipment that detects internal rail defects not visible to the naked eye, has been a longstanding and crucial component of our efforts to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the rails. This scene was captured in Yaphank, back in 1992, during a snowy winter season, and depicts the Sperry Rail Car having moved to a siding to let a westbound train pass. Photo by Paul H. Espersen, courtesy of our friends at the Long Island Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Latest On-Time Performance Report: January 2020
Overall on-time performance for January 2020 was 93.3%. The entire LIRR workforce is striving each day to improve these numbers to ensure reliable and timely commutes.
For More Information: Contact the LIRR’s Customer Service Center by calling 511 or 718-217-LIRR (718-217-5477). Automated schedule information is available 24/7. Agents are available to assist customers daily from 6 AM until 10 PM. To speak with an LIRR employee, say the word “Representative” when the prompts begin.
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