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Eastbound LIRR disruption ends Monday

A Long Island Railroad train pulls into the

A Long Island Railroad train pulls into the Jamaica station. (July 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Greg Emerson

The Long Island Rail Road Monday plans to restore three eastbound afternoon rush-hour trains that had been suspended because of tunnel excavation for the East Side Access project to Grand Central Terminal.

The 4:52 p.m. to Babylon, the 5:20 p.m. to Long Beach and the 5:40 p.m. to Seaford, all originating at Penn Station, will operate normally, LIRR officials said Sunday.

In addition, four trains that had been operating on adjusted schedules will revert to their normal times -- the 5:36 p.m. to Babylon, the 5:55 p.m. to Long Beach and the 5:59 p.m. to Babylon, all originating at Penn Station, and the 6:44 p.m. from Babylon to Patchogue.

The return to normal service comes about a week earlier than anticipated.

Schedule changes, implemented July 9, were planned for up to four weeks while an important switch was taken out of service for tunnel boring in Queens that eliminated one of three eastbound tracks normally used during the afternoon peak period.

The work was part of the multibillion-dollar project intended to give Long Island commuters a ride directly to one of the country's busiest office districts. The project expects to save 160,000 commuters about 40 minutes of travel time a day and boost commerce in Manhattan and on Long Island.

The project, scheduled for completion in 2019, also calls for construction of a 350,000-square-foot LIRR customer concourse at Grand Central, as well as 22 elevators and 47 escalators and installation of tracks, switches and signal systems.

Related elements of the project include new shuttle train service from Brooklyn to Jamaica, a new platform at Jamaica for Brooklyn trains and the construction of a new spur in Great Neck to allow for increased capacity on the Port Washington line.

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