At rush hour, service along the branch is divided into two halves: Most trains on the western half will make all stops to Wantagh and terminate there. Trains on the eastern half will run non-stop from Jamaica to Wantagh and then make all stops to Babylon.
Most stations will see 16-17 trains in the morning and 14-16 in the afternoon.
Most trains will run to and from Manhattan, split about evenly between Penn Station and Grand Central. The exception is two morning and three afternoon trains that run between Atlantic Terminal and Freeport. All trains will stop at Jamaica. This creates better transfer options for those traveling to or from the other Manhattan terminal, Brooklyn, or JFK Airport.
If you're traveling within Nassau and Suffolk counties you can transfer between the two halves of the branch at Wantagh. This transfer is generally timed so you will only have to wait 3-6 minutes between trains. With this arrangement, every train can be used for these intra-Island trips.
Some riders boarding at stops east of Wantagh and traveling to the Manhattan terminal their train doesn’t serve may want to avoid crowds by transferring at Wantagh instead of at Jamaica. The TrainTime app will let you know if this option works for you.
Additional service at Babylon station is provided by Montauk Branch trains operating via the Main Line.
At least two trains per hour will run during off-peak hours, making all stops between Rockville Centre and Babylon. Trains will alternate between Penn Station and Grand Central. Those traveling to or from the other terminal or Brooklyn can change at Jamaica. One train per hour will also stop at Lynbrook.
To provide faster trips for those traveling east of Babylon, we will run an additional limited-stop trains to and from Penn Station during some hours. East of Jamaica, these trains will only stop at Freeport, Bellmore, Massapequa, Amityville, and Babylon.
Most Babylon Branch trains will not stop at St. Albans. West Hempstead Branch trains will be the primary service at that station.