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Photo: Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Photo: Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Passengers boarding a westbound train at the Long Island Rail Road Bayside station.

Ongoing reconstruction will cause another “summer of hell” for commuters who rely upon the Long Island Rail Road’s Port Washington Branch to get to and from northeast Queens every day.

The new schedule for the line, which takes effect this Monday, July 23, includes the cancellation of six weekday trains — three in each direction — and shifts the operating times for other trains to accommodate riders. The changes will remain in effect through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3.

According to an MTA spokesperson, the altered schedule is the result of improvements to be made at the Harold Interlocking, the nation’s busiest rail junction, which is located in the Sunnyside Yard. The LIRR, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit utilize the Harold Interlocking for passenger service to and from Penn Station, as well as train car storage.

Commuters on board one of the canceled trains — the 8:21 a.m. eastbound train out of Penn Station — were informed of the impending changes through public address announcements on board. According to the conductor, this particular train was being cancelled for the summer due to track improvements being made at Penn Station.

The 8:21 a.m. eastbound train out of Penn Station stops at Woodside, then makes all stops on the branch to Port Washington. Riders will need to take either the 7:55 a.m. or the 8:51 a.m. trains out of Penn Station as alternates.

The other eastbound trains that will be eliminated next week emanate out of Penn Station during the evening rush hour: the 4:22 p.m. express train to Port Washington which stops only at Great Neck, Manhasset and Plandome; and the 7:01 p.m. express train to Bayside, which also stops at Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome and Port Washington.

One westbound morning rush hour train on the Port Washington line is being eliminated: the 8:45 a.m. train, which stops at Plandome, Manhasset and Great Neck, then runs express to Penn Station. Two evening westbound trains, however, are being scrapped: the 5 p.m. train out of Port Washington, which skips Plandome and Murray Hill but makes all other stops to Woodside and Penn Station; and the 6:46 p.m. train out of Great Neck, which stops at Little Neck, Douglaston and Bayside before running express to Flushing-Main Street, Woodside and Penn Station.

The LIRR is adding two trains on the Port Washington branch during the afternoons: an eastbound express train out of Penn Station at 5:47 p.m., which will stop at Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome and Port Washington; and a 5:21 p.m. westbound local train out of Great Neck which will make all stops (except Woodside) to Penn Station.

In addition, the LIRR will be tweaking departure times on three eastbound and nine westbound trains on the Port Washington Branch each day. The changes are as follows:

  • The 7:01 a.m. eastbound express train out of Penn Station will depart three minutes later, at 7:04 a.m.; the train will arrive at the Woodside, Flushing-Main Street, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and Great Neck stations between two and three minutes later than normal.
  • The 9:19 a.m. eastbound local train out of Penn Station will depart a minute later, at 9:20 a.m.; it’s scheduled to arrive at Woodside at 9:30 a.m., then make all of its regular stops at the normal time.
  • The 5:44 p.m. eastbound express train out of Penn Station will depart three minutes later, at 5:47 p.m.; the train runs express to Great Neck, then make all local stops to Port Washington.
  • The 6:45 a.m. westbound train out of Port Washington will depart at 6:38 a.m., seven minutes earlier; the train makes all local stops to Great Neck, then runs express while stopping only at Bayside and Penn Station.
  • The 8:08 a.m. westbound train out of Port Washington will depart at 8:12 a.m., four minutes later; the train makes all local stops to Great Neck, then runs express to Penn Station.
  • The 8:24 a.m. westbound train out of Great Neck will depart at 8:26 a.m., two minutes later; the train will arrive at Bayside, Auburndale, Broadway, Murray Hill, Flushing-Main Street and Penn Station about two minutes later than normal.
  • The 8:38 a.m. westbound train out of Great Neck will depart at 8:40 a.m., two minutes later; the train will make all local stops to Penn Station about two or three minutes later than normal.
  • The 9:32 a.m. westbound train out of Great Neck will depart at 9:38 a.m., six minutes later; the train will make all local stops to Penn Station about six or seven minutes later than normal.
  • The 5:44 p.m. westbound train out of Great Neck will depart at 5:49 p.m., five minutes later; the train makes all local stops to Bayside, then runs express to Flushing-Main Street, Woodside and Penn Station.
  • The 6:23 p.m. westbound train out of Great Neck will depart at 6:20 p.m., three minutes earlier; the train will make all local stops to Penn Station about three to four minutes later than normal.
  • The 6:24 p.m. westbound express train out of Port Washington will depart at 6:26 p.m., two minutes later; the train will become a local train after skipping the Plandome stop, making all local stops to Penn Station.
  • The 7:39 p.m. westbound train out of Port Washington will depart at 7:35 p.m., four minutes earlier; the train skips Plandome and makes all other stops to Penn Station.

For further information about Port Washington Branch service, visit mta.info/LIRR.

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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. July 22, 2018 / 01:34PM
Short-term inconveniences brings long-term benefits.
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