The Long Island Rail Road will increase weekday service by 41% when the former East Side Access project, now known as Grand Central Madison, opens later this year, the MTA said Thursday.
The railroad's new proposed timetables include an extra 274 weekday trains, among them an extra 44 morning rush trains to Manhattan.
Sitting hundreds of feet below Grand Central, the East Side Access terminal aims to bring much more traffic into Manhattan from Long Island at peak times, with the added bonus of cutting down on congestion at Penn Station at rush hour. It is slated to open sometime in late 2022, 17 years after voters approved a bond issue to finance the project.
The construction is one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects undertaken in the United States in recent years, according to the MTA. It is the largest new train terminal to be built in the United States since the 1950s and the first expansion of the LIRR in more than 100 years.
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It will provide new, direct LIRR service into a new concourse below Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan’s East Side. The project encompasses work in multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Queens, and includes more than eight miles of tunneling. It will bring all 11 branches of the LIRR through a new East River tunnel with a final destination below the current Grand Central.