Major Track Surfacing Work Weekend of April 17-18 Means Buses Replace Trains on Hempstead Branch &Reduced Port Jefferson Branch Train Service

96th St Station

Major Track Surfacing Work Weekend of April 17-18 Means Buses Replace Trains on Hempstead Branch &Reduced Port Jefferson Branch Train Service

Customers Advised to Use LIRR South Shore Branches to Avoid Delays

Special Timetables in Effect on Most Branches for This Weekend

In order to keep North America's busiest railroad operating smoothly and on schedule one of the most important state of good repair projects done on a regular basis is track surfacing work, especially on heavily utilized areas of the Long Island Rail Road system. Resurfacing the track bed not only provides LIRR customers with a smoother ride but adds useful life to track components in the area.

Besides good old-fashioned "elbow grease" provided by skilled LIRR Engineering Department employees, track surfacing work is greatly aided by track tamper machines. The machines lift up the track itself and sift and align the ballast, adding additional ballast when necessary, and taking out any bumps in the track bed (where the running rails sit) in the process.

During this weekend, April 17-18, the LIRR will continue a major track surfacing program on its Queens Interlocking, in the Queens Village area, through which some of the railroad's busiest branches operate (the Main Line and the Hempstead Branch). Two track tamper machines will operate on this weekend helping approximately 50 LIRR personnel complete this important job. Each machine is over 100 feet long and weighs 150 tons.

On this weekend, April 17-18, because of this track surfacing work and the renewal of one grade crossing there will be no train service on the Hempstead Branch and train service frequency will be reduced on the Port Jefferson/Huntington Branch. Customers should consider taking trains from South Shore LIRR stations (Babylon, Long Beach and West Hempstead Branches) in order to avoid delays this weekend.

Schedule adjustments will also be made on some trains on all branches except the Port Washington Branch during the affected weekend to accommodate Hempstead Branch and Port Jefferson/Huntington Branch connections. These adjustments are reflected in the special weekend timetables dated April 17 &18.

Track Tamper Machine at Work

Hempstead Branch

Customers will board trains at western terminals then disembark at Jamaica for buses that will take them to their final destinations. Customers should anticipate up to 33 minutes additional travel time.

Customers will board buses at their stations then change at Jamaica for trains to western terminals. Buses will depart up to 32 minutes earlier than scheduled train times.

Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch
Customers traveling to and from stations New Hyde Park through Huntington will have hourly train service instead of half-hourly train service. Customers traveling east of Huntington to and from Port Jefferson will have train service every two hours instead of every 90 minutes.

Trackwork and Grade Crossing Modernization Brochure (PDF)


In addition to the track surfacing work, one grade crossing will be renewed this weekend. The work includes replacing rubber panels at the crossing with longer lasting concrete. On this weekend, April 17-18, the Covert Avenue, Stewart Manor crossing will be renewed. During the work, local motor vehicle traffic detours will be in place as detailed below:

Detour for Covert Avenue Road closure for crossing renewal work--April 17-18

Northbound: Heading north on Covert Avenue, proceed east on Salisbury Avenue, then proceed north on New Hyde Park Road, then proceed west on Stewart Avenue to Covert Avenue.

Southbound: Heading south on Covert Avenue, proceed east on Stewart Avenue then proceed south on New Hyde Park Road, then proceed west on Salisbury Avenue to Covert Avenue.

Customers should pick up a copy of the special April 17-18 branch timetables at their stations or at all terminals. For train schedule information customers can contact the LIRR's 24-hour Travel Information Center in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or New York City at 718-217-LIRR. The Travel Information Center's TDD number for hearing impaired is 718-558-3022.