1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. July 10-11: Willis Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination Project Alters Weekend Schedules

July 10-11: Willis Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination Project Alters Weekend Schedules

No Train Service Between Hicksville and Jamaica
Updated June 16, 2021 10:01 a.m.

Service Change Overview

Special weekend timetables will be in effect for all branches on the weekends of June 26-27 and July 10-11 as we eliminate the Willis Avenue grade crossing in Mineola as part of the LIRR Expansion Project.

To allow this work to proceed, LIRR will suspend Main Line train service between Hicksville and Jamaica. Key service impacts and alternatives follow.

A map depicting the service changes appears at the bottom of this page.

Huntington/Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branch service changes

Westbound train service terminates at Hicksville. Transfer to a diesel shuttle train stopping at Bethpage and Babylon, where electric train service will resume.

For eastbound customers, reverse the process by traveling to Babylon, then board a diesel shuttle train stopping at Bethpage and Hicksville, where electric train service will resume. Please allow up to 60 minutes of additional travel time.

New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place, and Westbury Stations: There will be no train service at these stations. As an alternative, use the Hempstead Branch, where weekend service will be increased from hourly to half-hourly, or NICE Bus service.

LIRR tickets will be cross-honored on the N22/24 bus routes for service between Hicksville and Mineola, and the N40/N41 bus routes for service between Mineola and Hempstead. See nicebus.com for schedules.

Between midnight and 5 a.m., the LIRR Expansion Project team will provide shuttle buses stopping at Mineola and Hicksville as an alternative for customers at these two Main Line stations when NICE Bus service is unavailable.

Bethpage Station: Bethpage Station will be served solely by a diesel-powered shuttle train with bi-level cars that will operate between Hicksville, Bethpage, and Babylon. Electric trains will not stop at Bethpage Station.

Westbound customers should wait on the eastbound platform (Track 2, Platform B) and board a shuttle train to Babylon. At Babylon, transfer to westbound express trains to Penn Station that make limited stops, including Jamaica. 

Eastbound customers should wait on the westbound platform (Track 1, Platform A) and board a shuttle train to Hicksville. At Hicksville, transfer to an eastbound electric train for service to stations from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma. Please plan ahead and allow additional time to safely cross the Stewart Avenue grade crossing when getting to and from the opposite station platform.

Oyster Bay Branch Service Changes

Service will operate every two hours. All trains originate and terminate at East Williston Station. Take free LIRR shuttle buses between East Williston, Mineola, and Hempstead, where train service will be available every half hour, or use the Port Washington Branch. Due to a separate track work program, Port Washington Branch service will operate on an hourly basis on these weekends.

Some Oyster Bay Branch service changes will begin Friday evening (after the evening rush hour). Please check the special timetable to learn if this may affect your travel plans. 

Hempstead Branch Service Changes

Service on the Hempstead Branch will be increased from hourly to half-hourly to help accommodate affected customers.

Travel Tips

  • Some service changes will begin at approximately 8 p.m. on Friday night and continue through the overnight hours on Monday morning.
  • Sign up for eAlerts at mymtaalerts.com. Visit mta.info for updates and view timetables online here. Printed timetables will not be distributed.
  • Masks are required onboard trains and in station buildings and enclosed platform waiting rooms, regardless of your vaccination status. Masks must completely cover your nose and mouth and remain on for the duration of your travel, including on LIRR shuttle buses.
  • Download the free LIRR TrainTime App to plan your trip, and track real-time customer loading information to find the least crowded cars on any train.
  • To avoid delays and transfers, use the Babylon, Hempstead, Montauk, or Port Washington Branches.
  • Parking restrictions and fees are waived at many stations on weekends. Click here to learn more.
  • Buy LIRR tickets in advance. Customers using MTA eTix® should activate their tickets just before boarding the train.
  • Look for LIRR personnel at key locations and listen for station and onboard announcements regarding track and platform changes.

About the LIRR Expansion Project

The LIRR Expansion Project will add a third track along nearly 10 miles of right-of-way between Floral Park and Hicksville, increasing capacity, improving reliability, and creating new service opportunities. Visit amodernli.com to learn more.

For more information

Customer Service Center agents are available to answer questions via live chat or phone between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., daily. 

For service-related questions, chat live with customer service agents through the LIRR TrainTime app

To speak with an agent, call 511 or 718-217-LIRR (718-217-5477) and say “Representative” when the prompts begin. Automated schedule information is available via phone 24/7.