LIRR increases train service to accommodate Belmont race fans

The Long Island Rail Road has released its The Long Island Rail Road has released its schedule for Belmont Stakes day on Saturday. Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

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The Long Island Rail Road has vowed to run as many trains as necessary to get every customer home from the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

LIRR officials said Thursday that they will run trains every 15 minutes from 6:27 p.m. until about 10 p.m. westbound from Belmont Park to accommodate race fans attending the Stakes. That's in addition to four scheduled trains operating from 4:16 p.m. until 5:51 p.m.

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The railroad is also running 18 trains from Penn Station to Belmont on Saturday, beginning at 9:45 a.m.

At a Garden City news conference Thursday that included Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and New York Racing Association officials, LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski encouraged race fans to leave their cars home.

"There's really only one way to get there, because you don't want to sit in traffic. And that's the Long Island Rail Road," said Nowakowski, who encouraged fans to avoid return-trip crowds by not rushing out of the park. "Make a day of it."

NYRA officials are expecting up to 100,000 fans to attend the Belmont Stakes, which could deliver the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

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