Full LIRR service begins at Grand Central Madison

February 27, 2023

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermnan / MTA on Flickr

Grand Central Madison finally opened with full Long Island Rail Road service on Monday, with a totally new schedule for commuters and a 41 percent increase in service levels. Starting February 27, an additional 271 LIRR trains per day have been added to the system for a total of up to 936 trains per day; 296 of these trains will be traveling to and from Grand Central Madison, with the remaining to Penn Station. According to officials, the new terminal will make commutes for LIRR riders up to 40 minutes shorter.

Photo of Grand Central Madison in December 2022; Credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

After a month-long delay due to vent exhaust issues, Grand Central Madison opened to the public for the first time last month as part of its initial launch.

“Grand Central Madison is a public transportation feat that will shorten commutes, giving commuters time back in their busy lives to spend with their families, friends and communities,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

“Grand Central Madison will dramatically expand service and operate more reliably for commuters and reduce overcrowding at Penn Station. Thanks to our continued partnership with Senator Schumer and the New York Congressional delegation, we will continue building safe and efficient public transportation worthy of New Yorkers.”

The official full opening of Grand Central Madison coincides with two other major improvements to the LIRR system: the Double Track Project, which created a second, 13-mile track connecting Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, and the Third Track Project, a third, 9-8 mile track spanning between Floral Park and Hicksville.

Grand Central Madison is the first new major rail terminal to open in the United States in the last 67 years, and the first expansion of the LIRR system in 112 years since service began to Penn Station in 1910.

Yayoi Kusama A Message of Love, Directly from My Heart unto the Universe, 2022 Glass mosaic 120.66 x 7.25 feet. Fabricated by Miotto Mosaics Art Studios. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. Photo by Kerry McFate ©YAYOI KUSAMA Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, David Zwirner

Originally known as the East Side Access project, the plan to bring LIRR service to Grand Central Terminal was first proposed in the 1960s. The plan was delayed for decades before construction began in 2006. Last June, Gov. Hochul and the MTA renamed the project Grand Central Madison.

The new LIRR terminal features permanent art installations designed by famed contemporary artists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith.

You can learn more about the changes to LIRR service here.


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