The MTA said there will be trains running from Port Washington to...

The MTA said there will be trains running from Port Washington to Grand Central at 6:42 a.m. and 7:19 a.m. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Long Island Rail Road will restore a pair of rush hour trains running from Port Washington to Grand Central Terminal, after riders on the branch complained that recent schedule changes left them with no service to the new Manhattan terminal for more than two hours during the morning peak.

Under the changes, the MTA said there will be trains running from Port Washington to Grand Central at 6:42 a.m. and 7:19 a.m. A 7:35 a.m. train originating in Great Neck that currently runs to Grand Central will instead go to Penn Station.

“I’m glad to see that the railroad took the opportunity to listen and to do a pretty quick job at fixing what was a real problem for a lot of people,” said State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), who announced the service restoration in a social media post that included a photo of him meeting with new LIRR acting president Robert Free.

Martins said the morning trains to Grand Central will return on Monday.

Responding to Martins’ post, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson David Steckel said in a statement that MTA officials “are always monitoring ridership data and reviewing feedback from customers and we make service changes accordingly.”

The LIRR has been making regular adjustments to its schedule since launching full service to Grand Central Madison in February. The opening of the new terminal led the railroad to alternating its morning rush hour trains on the Port Washington Branch between the railroad’s two Manhattan terminals — a strategy that inconvenienced some Penn Station commuters.

With the most recent timetable changes that took effect Nov. 13, the railroad took two morning trains that went from Port Washington to Grand Central — at 6:47 a.m. and at 7:19 a.m. — and rerouted them back to Penn.

That means there are currently no trains from Port Washington to Grand Central for more than two hours during morning peak period. Meanwhile, there are two trains from Port Washington to Penn Station within five minutes of each other, at 7:14 a.m. and at 7:19 a.m.

“I was like, ‘There’s no way that any good analyst can look at this and say this is reasonable scheduling,' ” Port Washington commuter Tom Lomino said.

Lomino said he was “very appreciative” of the resolution announced Monday by Martins, who, in a recent message to constituents on his website suggested that the elimination of all direct trains from Port Washington to Grand Central during the height of the morning rush came from the LIRR’s “Department of Bad Ideas.”

Lomino acknowledged that some of the early complaints from Port Washington commuters following the opening of Grand Central Madison were about too many trains going there. But, he said, in the ensuing months, he and other commuters came to appreciate the new service to Manhattan’s East Side.

He is not alone, according to Steckel, who said “service to Grand Central is very popular and represents close to 40% of our peak ridership."

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