LIRR to cancel 5 rush-hour trains for 4 weeks

Passengers crowd Penn Station as they look up Passengers crowd Penn Station as they look up at the main train announcement board in Penn Station. (Aug. 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

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The Long Island Rail Road plans to cancel five rush-hour trains starting Monday and continuing through Aug. 16 as improvement work begins at the Harold Interlocking switching complex in Queens.

As part of the $8.24 billion East Side Access improvement project, crews plan to place heavy concrete slabs that will serve as the ceiling of a new underpass at the switching complex in Sunnyside, according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority news release.

MTA officials said the underpass will help ease congestion at the site, which also is used by Amtrak trains en route to Penn Station.

"Once installed, the concrete slabs being put into place this summer will allow for LIRR service to continue without further cancellations while the bypass is built under one of the busiest train intersections in North America," MTA officials said in a statement. "Without the slabs, weekend LIRR outages would have been required for many months."

During morning rush hours, these Penn Station-bound trains will be canceled: the 6:54 a.m. departure from Central Islip, the 7:55 a.m. departure from Little Neck and the 8:10 a.m. departure from Freeport.

During the evening rush hours, these trains departing Penn Station will be canceled: the 6:05 p.m. due at Wantagh at 6:51 p.m., and the 6:33 p.m. due at Babylon at 7:35 p.m.

Four other trains will operate on shortened runs, MTA officials said.

The 5:39 a.m. departure from Montauk due at Hunterspoint Avenue will end at Jamaica instead. The 7:13 a.m. departure from Oyster Bay due at Long Island City also will end at Jamaica.

In the evenings, the 4:28 p.m. departure from Long Island City to Patchogue will start instead at Jamaica at 5:03 p.m. The 6:30 p.m. departure from Hunterspoint Avenue headed to Port Jefferson will start at Jamaica at 6:49 p.m.

"The construction dates were chosen to minimize disruption to customers," MTA officials said in a statement.

For more information, customers can visit MTA's website at mta.info.

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