With emotions riding high over proposed North Fork service cuts, the Long Island Rail Road is offering a message by the numbers.

In its monthly drop-on-the-seat leaflet, the railroad highlighted that by cutting a one-car train between Ronkonkoma and Greenport, it’s trying to narrow a nearly $400 million deficit by impacting the fewest number of riders.

The railroad the listed the annual cost of the branches.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Greenport branch carried 69,986 riders in 2009, the fewest in the system, and money from tickets sales covered 12 percent of the actual cost of running the trains.

By comparison, the leaflet notes, the Babylon branch is the railroad’s busiest, with 19.7 million riders. The money from tickets sales picks up 51 percent of the cost it takes to run the trains.