The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service to Grand Central Madison will begin Wednesday, Jan. 25.
According to the MTA, the first train is scheduled to originate at Jamaica Station at 10:45 a.m. and run express to Grand Central Madison where it is scheduled to arrive at 11:07 a.m. For at least three weeks, LIRR will operate limited shuttle service between Jamaica and Grand Central Madison so customers can “acquaint themselves with the new terminal as existing schedules continue.” LIRR will initiate full service from Long Island to Grand Central per schedules that will be posted here and in the TrainTime app.
Regularly scheduled Grand Central Direct trains, which will run every 30 minutes in both directions during weekday midday periods and once per hour during peak periods (arriving in Grand Central between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and departing between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), will operate between 6:15 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
During this initial period, MTA says, LIRR will have customer ambassadors on the Grand Central Madison concourse to greet customers and offer information about the new space. LIRR customers looking to travel to Grand Central Madison can use Penn Station tickets, which falls in the same fare zone.
This special Grand Central Direct service, MTA says, will conclude with the initiation of full train service mirroring what was previewed in draft schedules published last June. To enable travel planning, the MTA will provide notice when full schedules, increasing overall LIRR service by 41%, are scheduled to go into effect.
The opening of Grand Central Madison station, which is part of the LIRR’s East Side Access project to bring commuter rail service to Manhattan’s East Side, had been delayed due to an ongoing issue with an exhaust fan. The station was initially scheduled to open to commuters before the end of 2022 but the vent fan problems, which were disclosed in December, had put a pause on those plans.