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Arriving soon: LIRR service to Grand Central

This new service is the most transformative change to Long Island Rail Road service in a century.

From the East End to the east side

Long Island Rail Road service to the east side of Manhattan is about to become a reality.  

At the end of this year, LIRR trains will begin running to Grand Central Madison, a new train concourse below the historic Grand Central Terminal. It’s part of the most transformative change to LIRR service in over a century.  

With trains to both Penn Station and Grand Central Madison, LIRR service will reach both sides of Manhattan for the first time. More LIRR trains will run during peak hours and there will be better reverse commuting options to Long Island. 

Getting ready for Grand Central Madison

More options and opportunities

When service to Grand Central begins at the end of the year, there will be new schedules on every branch of LIRR. And with trains running to both sides of Manhattan, LIRR is boosting its service systemwide by more than 40%. There will be more one-seat rides to Manhattan, and more trains will run to more places, all day long.  

The new schedule makes true reverse commuting a better option for Long Island residents — in some areas, for the first time ever. There will be a 65% increase in reverse-peak weekday trains, along with more trains in the early-morning and late-evening rush hours. This opens up new opportunities for tourism, schools, parks, and jobs on Long Island.  

Some of the other big benefits of our new service: 

  • More evenly spaced trains and fewer large gaps in service  
  • More frequent service to Queens  
  • More frequent service on the Ronkonkoma and West Hempstead branches   
  • 28% increase in Brooklyn service 
  • Decreased travel times from Long Island to Manhattan  
  • Less crowding at Penn Station 

When new schedules are finalized, they will be available in the TrainTime app.

A sign on a digital screen that is hanging in a train station.
A police officer in uniform stands next to a sign on a train. The sign reads "Penn Station? Think more grand"

A new experience below Grand Central

Customers taking LIRR to Grand Central Madison will arrive at an expansive, 700,000-square-foot terminal and concourse. This brand-new station runs alongside Madison Avenue from 43rd Street to 48th Street. It will have space for retail and restaurants, spacious waiting areas, free Wi-Fi, and real-time departure information.  

The station is fully accessible and features passive wayfinding, new artwork from MTA Arts & Design, area maps, and other helpful information.  

Grand Central Madison has four new entrances to Madison Avenue, as well as entrances into the historic Grand Central Terminal. The new station will have eight tracks — which can accommodate up to 24 trains per hour — and four platforms on two new levels below the existing lower level of Grand Central Terminal. These tracks are fully separate from Metro-North Railroad, ensuring that neither railroad causes delays to the other. 

People walk through a hallway in a train station
Customers participate in a wayfinding exercise at Grand Central Madison on November 13, 2022. Marc A. Hermann

About LIRR service to Grand Central

The new LIRR service to Manhattan’s east side is the most transformative change to Long Island Rail Road service in over a century. There will be new schedules on every branch of the LIRR, with more trains running during peak hours and better reverse commuting options to Long Island. Two new tunnels between Manhattan and Queens will increase train capacity to and from New York City by 50% and improve reliability. 

It is the culmination of several infrastructure projects — including the Main Line Expansion from Floral Park to Hicksville, and the Double Track Project from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma — that allow us to run more trains and provide more reliable service. These projects have also added new stations and bridges on Long Island, eliminated grade crossings, and replaced old tracks and signals. 

Next steps

Our goal is to ensure that customers understand how LIRR service will change when this new plan launches at the end of the year. Soon, we will be out in full force in stations and throughout affected communities to help bring wider awareness about changes to LIRR service.