Hochul: East Side’s ‘Grand Central Madison’ a game-changer for LIRR; will decongest Penn Station
The 700,000-square-foot Long Island Rail Road terminal that will connect commuters to the East Side will be named Grand Central Madison, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday morning.
According to the governor, the terminal – slated to open this year – will enable “era-defining LIRR service increases of 40%” and decongest Penn Station.
"This is an exciting, historic moment for New York State, Long Island, and the MTA as New Yorkers are just months away from being able to seamlessly ride a train between East Midtown and Long Island," Hochul said in prepared remarks. "Grand Central Madison - the largest new passenger rail terminal built since the 1950's - will be a game-changer for Long Island, allowing the LIRR to dramatically expand service and operate more reliably for commuters, and reducing overcrowding at Penn Station. We will continue to build back stronger from the pandemic and deliver state-of-the-art, 21st century infrastructure worthy of New Yorkers."
About the Terminal:
The governor says the new terminal will have eight tracks and four platforms on two new levels below the existing lower level of Grand Central Terminal, “all designed with passive wayfinding to help orient returning users through subtle color shifts by location.”
“All tracks and platforms are fully separated from Metro-North Railroad, ensuring that neither railroad causes delays to the other. The terminal will feature real-time digital signage, robust cell service and Wi-Fi, 25 retail storefronts, four new entrances to the street level along Madison Avenue between 43rd Street and 48th Street and two new entrances into the existing spaces of Grand Central and two to Grand Central's north end passageways at 45th and 47th Streets.”
This week, the LIRR will release draft timetables for every LIRR branch showing proposed systemwide service following the opening of the LIRR's Grand Central Madison terminal. The LIRR will hold a series of virtual public information sessions next month to gather public input on the timetables.
"Our service planners used the opportunity of the opening of service to Grand Central Madison to take a completely fresh look at the schedules, something that has not been done in more than 30 years," said interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi in prepared remarks. "We want the public to be able to see these draft timetables months before service starts, and plan to share final timetables this fall."
Here’s the times for those sessions:
· June 23 - 6-7 p.m.
· June 30 - 6-7 p.m.
· July 7 - 6-7 p.m.
· July 13 - 6-8 p.m.
No more changing at Jamaica
The governor says trains will no longer have scheduled connections at Jamaica to reduce delays that can occur currently at Jamaica Station while trains wait for a connecting train and to allow the LIRR to move significantly more trains through the station.
Manhattan-bound customers at rush hour on most branches, and all day on the busiest branches, will find options to take them to the terminal of their choosing without the need to change trains. For those who do need to transfer, all trains will now make station stops at Jamaica to reduce wait times. Once the schedules are finalized in the fall, the TrainTime app will be updated to provide transfer recommendations.
More information can be found on the governor’s website.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)