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LIRR Rush Hour Train Diversions, Cancellations Start Monday Ahead of Penn Station Work

What to Know

  • Beginning Jan. 7, multiple LIRR and Amtrak trains will be diverted or cancelled
  • This will affect seven of the 144 morning trains, and six of the 130 evening trains, the MTA says
  • Sources additionally say that it will be four years before the MTA's East Side Access opens

The train pain begins Monday for LIRR commuters. 

The LIRR is diverting or canceling seven of the 144 morning rush trains through March 3, along with six of the 130 evening rush trains, to accommodate work for infrastructure projects, the MTA said. 

The MTA said seating capacity will be reduced by less than 1 percent because of the changes -- which are to accommodate Amtrak's work on track 18 at Penn Station and work on the Harold Interlocking railyard for the East Side Access project. 

“East Side Access will bring much-needed expanded service and redundancy for LIRR customers wanting to access Manhattan, and this ongoing work will help us accomplish this goal with speed and efficiency,” said Janno Lieber, the MTA's chief development officer.

In order to soften the blow, the MTA says it is adding some trains to Penn Station, Hunterspoint Avenue and Barclays Center in the morning and evening.

“Amtrak’s Penn Station renewal work is critical to the LIRR’s continued operation to Manhattan’s West Side, and needs to be done as quickly as possible,” LIRR President Phil Eng said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as this important infrastructure work continues.

Visit the MTA's website for more information on the changes.

NJ Transit riders didn't have a much better start to Monday, with service subject to up to 30 minute delays in and out of NY Penn Station at one point because of emergency track work near Secaucus.

"Amtrak planned on a 55-hour track outage to conduct renewal work, specifically, west Swift Interlocking, which is east of Newark, NJ," Amtrak said in a statement. "Despite having all of the necessary resources, we fell behind on the work delaying the return, which still needs to be returned to service causing 15-20 minute delays during this morning's commute. We are working as quickly and safely as we can to return the track. We are applying appropriate fixes to prevent reoccurrence."

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