LIRR service to Grand Central Madison starts this week

January 24, 2023

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

After a month-long delay due to vent exhaust problems, Grand Central Madison will officially open this week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday. The first Long Island Rail Road train with service to Manhattan’s east side is scheduled to leave Jamaica at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday and arrive at the new terminal at 11:07 a.m. As part of the initial roll-out, there will be limited shuttle service between the two stations to help commuters get familiar with the new terminal, which cost roughly $12 billion, according to the transit agency.

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

The initial launch includes special “Grand Central Direct” trains, which will operate between Jamaica and Grand Central Madison between 6:15 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on weekends.

The MTA said trains will run every 30 minutes in both directions during weekday midday periods and on weekends and once per hour during peak periods.

For the first couple of weeks of the new service, the LIRR will have customer ambassadors on Grand Central Madison’s concourse to help commuters navigate the space. Customers will be able to use Penn Station tickets to travel to the new terminal, as both Penn Station and Grand Central Madison are within the same fare zone.

Plans for the new LIRR concourse at Grand Central were unveiled in November 2021. Grand Central madison includes a 350,000-square-foot passenger concourse, four new platforms with eight tracks, and 25,000 square feet of retail space.

The project’s expected construction costs jumped to nearly $12 billion, up from original estimates of just over $2 billion, making it one of the most expensive projects of its kind in the world, as 6sqft previously reported.

The new terminal will increase LIRR service systemwide by more than  40 percent during peak morning service and significantly increase reverse peak service.

Originally known as East Side Access, Gov. Kathy Hochul and the MTA renamed the terminal Grand Central Madison last June. First proposed in the 1960s, the plan to bring LIRR service to Grand Central Terminal was delayed for decades until construction began in 2006. Grand Central Madison is the first modern train terminal to be built in NYC in more than 50 years.

Last month, the MTA unveiled new permanent artwork on display at the new terminal, including mosaics from renowned contemporary artists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith.

Grand Central Direct train schedules can be found in the TrainTime app or on the MTA’s website.


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