Port Washington line gets more expresses to Penn under LIRR service changes

Port Washington line gets more expresses to Penn under LIRR service changes
Commuters from Port Washington arriving at Penn Station the morning of April 10. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

Service along the Long Island Rail Road’s Port Washington Branch will change starting Nov. 13 to provide additional express trains to Penn Station, a request that many residents and local officials have advocated for since the opening of Grand Central Madison.

Most of the changes will be to the morning rush hour service, notably providing additional express trains from Port Washington to Penn Station. The MTA said the changes are geared  to the ridership data they have sourced.

Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte of Port Washington has been active in advocating for more express trains to and from Port Washington and Penn Station.

Dalimonte previously told Blank Slate that the LIRR service changes to accommodate trains running to and from Grand Central Madison immediately posed problems when all express trains to Penn Station were initially supposed to be eliminated when service to Grand Central began. She, along with other government officials, fought to get the express trains reinstated.

Six express trains were reinstated: three in the morning and three in the evening.

Dalimonte said the main need of Port Washington Branch riders is reinstating all express trains running to and from Penn Station, a service that commuters previously had.

Now, all five trains departing Port Washington between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. will go to Penn Station. Four of the five westbound trains will be express after leaving Great Neck.

Under the new schedule, morning rush hour trains on the Port Washington Branch will mostly be going to Penn Station. Five trains between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. will arrive in Grand Central, compared to 10 trains arriving in Penn Station between that same time frame.

Currently, six trains arrive at Grand Central Station and nine at Penn Station during the morning rush on the Port Washington branch.

Here are the new morning rush hour train times and routes:

The 6:47 a.m. train now leaves Port Washington at 6:42 a.m. It will not stop at Little Neck, Douglaston or Bayside, as it had previously, and will now end at Penn Station instead of Grand Central. It arrives at Penn Station at 7:22 a.m.

The 7:19 a.m. train will now run non-stop from Great Neck to Penn Station. It arrives at Penn Station at 7:54 a.m.

The 6:28 a.m. and 7:03 trains will be adding stops at Little Neck and Douglaston.

The 7:38 a.m. train will now begin in Great Neck, no longer in Little Neck, and run to Grand Central. This train previously arrived at Penn Station.

The 7:54 a.m. train will now leave Port Washington at 7:53 with an additional stop in Bayside at 8:09 a.m.

Changes in service will also be made during the evening.

The 7:11 p.m. train from Port Washington will now run to Penn Station, previously terminating at Grand Central. The 8:44 p.m. train leaving Grand Central will now be leaving from Penn Station.

In an Oct. 23 letter to individuals with Port Washington Train Station parking passes, Dalimonte urged commuters to communicate their concerns to the MTA through their communication channels. She said she has already reached out to them about the new timetables to reconsider some of the changes.

She said in her newsletter that the complaint she has received is regarding the 7:14 a.m. and 7:19 a.m.\, two trains within five minutes of each other, both going to Penn Station. She said this eliminated all direct trains to Grand Central during the morning rush.

“It’s important that we work with the MTA LIRR and let them know what we like and dislike about the changes to the schedule,” Dalimonte said in her newsletter.

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