The new Grand Central Madison station.

The new Grand Central Madison station. Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Long Island baseball fans rode the LIRR to Grand Central Madison on their way to a Yankees game for the first time Thursday.

Opening Day included a new rail link to Yankee Stadium, made possible by the recent completion of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $11.1 billion East Side Access megaproject. Long Island Rail Road passengers are now able to connect at Grand Central to the Metro-North Railroad, which includes a stop at the Yankees-East 153rd Street station on its Hudson Line.

At an event at Grand Central before the game, Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North and interim president of the LIRR, noted that previously Long Islanders headed to the stadium by public transportation would have to transfer to the No. 4 train at Atlantic Terminal for a “really long subway ride,” or walk from Penn Station to Herald Square to catch the D train.

“Now, really, who did that?” Rinaldi asked. “Now, instead of sitting on the LIE or the Major Deegan, they ride to Grand Central Madison, come right upstairs, and hop onto a Metro-North train that will take them to the stadium in about 16 minutes.”

The railroads’ new “combo ticket” also allows LIRR riders to make the trip paying a single fare — the cost of the first leg of the railroad trip, plus an additional $8 to complete the journey on Metro-North.

Responding to a social media post by the LIRR promoting the new service, some riders noted that using both railroads to get to a ballgame comes with the risk of missing the first few innings if there are delays, or a if rider has to wait long for a connecting train.

On Twitter, Lucille Bootman wrote she was delayed on her way to the game because her LIRR train was running late. “Never fails,” she wrote. “Or rather, always fails.”

Latest videos

Newsday LogoCritical LI Information You NeedDigital Access$1 for 5 months