LIRR service to Grand Central: Changes to your branch

For the first time in over a century, we’ve opened a new Manhattan terminal for Long Island Rail Road — and because of this, the entire schedule has been rewritten. Learn about your new travel options and changes coming to your branch.

Archived page

This page describes service changes that were made in February 2023 and does not reflect subsequent service adjustments.

How LIRR service has changed

Weekday rush hour service to Manhattan has increased on many branches, but will be split between Penn Station and Grand Central. On many branches, there are fewer trains to Penn Station than we're running today. Nearly half of our riders travel to the east side of Manhattan and may be better served by using Grand Central. 

True reverse commuting is now feasible on most branches. We’ve added more service eastbound in the morning and westbound in the evening thanks in part to our recent investments in the Main Line Third Track project

We’ve added more early morning, midday, evening, and weekend trains. At these times, service on busier branches (Huntington, Babylon, Ronkonkoma, and Port Washington) alternates between the two Manhattan terminals. Trains on the Hempstead, Long Beach, and Far Rockaway Branches run to one of the two. To reach the other one, transfer at Jamaica. 

There are more trains to and from Brooklyn, but most terminate in Jamaica. You’ll likely have to transfer there to reach your final destination. Most, but not all, Brooklyn-bound trains will depart Jamaica from tracks 11 or 12. Listen for announcements or check the station screens to find the track for the next train. MTA staff are also available to direct you.

A train station at Nostrand Avenue, with a multicolored glass mosaic on the platform.
A group of people walks on a train platform next to a Long Island Rail Road train .

New ways of transferring

We've eliminated scheduled connections in Jamaica. Trains will leave promptly and won't be held to wait for each other. Please do not wait for an "all aboard" announcement from a conductor; step inside the train promptly. This speeds up trips for most people who aren’t getting off in Jamaica. It also lets us run more trains through the station. All trains will stop at Jamaica to provide better connectivity for riders on all branches.

During rush hours, we might recommend new transfer points, such as Hicksville, Brentwood, or Wantagh. By making these transfers east of Jamaica, you’ll have a less crowded ride. This also helps reduce crowding in Jamaica for customers who have to transfer there.

Removing timed connections will change the information you see and the travel recommendations we give you. On screens, connecting destinations won't be listed beneath each train. On TrainTime, the transfers you see are recommendations based on the time it takes to walk from one platform to another; they are not trains that will wait for you. Keep an open mind about your new travel options.   

Remember to take your ticket with you when you transfer. You'll need to show it on each train. If you’re traveling through Jamaica, you'll be asked to show it again after the train leaves the station. 

Plan your trip

Tickets to Grand Central are the same price as those to Penn Station, Hunterspoint Avenue, or Atlantic Terminal. You can use most tickets for one of these stations to any of them without an additional charge. Atlantic Ticket is not valid for travel to or from Grand Central.

The best way to plan your trip and buy your ticket is in our TrainTime app. If you buy a paper ticket, remember to take it with you when you transfer.

If you currently use Penn Station, you should review your new travel options. A train from Grand Central might better fit your schedule. And if you currently use Atlantic Terminal and take the subway to Manhattan, you may want to use one of the Midtown terminals instead. 

We appreciate your patience as we adjust to a new way of running the railroad. Our teams will monitor ridership trends and train performance as we roll out this new service.