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LIRR: Extra eastbound trains on getaway Friday

An LIRR train rolls east along Track 18

An LIRR train rolls east along Track 18 in Penn Station last month. Credit: Craig Ruttle

The Long Island Rail Road is adding trains Friday to help riders get a head start on holiday celebrations.

Starting Monday, Jan. 8, however, service into Penn Station will be reduced so Amtrak can resume infrastructure repairs at the Manhattan hub that will end May 25, MTA officials said Thursday.

Beginning this Friday afternoon, Long Islanders can head home from Penn on 13 trains being added to the regular schedule.

The trains, running between 12:43 and 3:40 p.m., will help customers get a jump on the holiday weekend, according to the LIRR.

“There will be six extra trains to Babylon, three to Hicksville and Huntington, two additional Ronkonkoma Branch trains, and one each to Great Neck and Far Rockaway,” the LIRR said.

The railroad said it will run on a regular weekend/holiday schedule from Saturday through Monday.

For its winter to spring “critical” repairs at Penn, Amtrak, which owns and runs the hub, will take three tracks out of service that the LIRR uses, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

Tracks 15, 18 and 19 will be completely rebuilt, one at a time.

Because Penn Station has extra capacity during off-peak hours, the round-the-clock work should only affect the LIRR during rush hours, when it needs all its tracks.

This is the second round of repairs Amtrak has undertaken in less than a year at Penn Station, used by more than 230,000 LIRR customers a day.

During what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo dubbed the “summer of hell,” Amtrak replaced track infrastructure at the station that the LIRR does not typically use. However, the LIRR had to share tracks with Amtrak and NJ Transit that it usually had to itself.

Amtrak’s new upgrades oblige the LIRR to divert five morning rush-hour trains to Penn and three evening rush-hour trains from Penn, the MTA said.

And two evening rush-hour trains will be combined with trains scheduled to depart within six to 11 minutes of the canceled trains, the MTA said.

The combined trains will stop at all affected stations, the agency said.

To minimize hardship for commuters, the LIRR will add two morning trains and three afternoon/evening trains.

And five trains will have extra cars, so more passengers will have seats, the MTA said.

“Please note that other rush-hour trains will have minor schedule alterations and/or changes to their stopping patterns,” the authority added.

For the specific schedule changes see:

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