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LIRR announces rerouted trains from Grand Central Madison to Penn Station to begin Monday

NEW YORK — Riders of the Long Island Rail Road can expect more diverted trains Monday morning.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has made more changes based on recent complaints from commuters.

CBS2 has more on what riders can expect.

The Grand Central Madison terminal has been operating for just over a month, and some trains will be rerouted to and from Penn Station starting Monday.

“We pay all this money, monthly tickets, we stand and we wait, and it’s busy. I’m glad they knew what was happening and they listened,” said Great Neck’s Lisa Sack.

READ MORE: LIRR is moving some trains from Grand Central Madison to Penn Station in response to commuter complaints

LIRR interim president Catherine Rinaldi announced the service changes Thursday, after pointing out some of what she called “red flags” in the schedule so far.

“There is congestion on the trains to Penn, caused by higher-than-expected passenger numbers as people get used to the new schedule,” Rinaldi said.

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Beginning Monday, trains that used to arrive at Grand Central Madison the following morning will be rerouted to Penn Station:

  • The 05:42 train from Ronkonkoma, arriving in Penn at 06:55
  • The 7:54 a.m. train from Long Beach, arrives at Penn at 8:44 a.m

In the reverse morning, the 7:31 a.m. train to Hempstead now commutes at 7:30 a.m. from Penn Station, not from Grand Central.

In the evening, the 5:28 PM train departs for Babylon at Penn Station instead of Grand Central at the same time.

READ MORE: LIRR adds more commuter trains to Brooklyn after chaos in first week of Grand Central Madison service

Savannah Maher of Mount Sinai said she hopes more trains will allow her to actually sit down.

“Super, super busy. I travel during rush hour so it’s always a sprint to get to the train and I’m lucky if I can get a seat,” said Maher.

“And they’re already taking trains away. I wish they’d give this a shot,” added New Hyde Park’s Mike Marra.

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Some riders hope this is just a temporary change so that more commuters will eventually find their way to the brand new terminal, which has not attracted as many crowds as expected.

“People are creatures of habit and I think once people understand what it is, what the schedules are and they’re final, they’ll be here,” said Garden City’s Chris Gallic.

“I think as you see more people coming to the East Side offices, I think this location will become more popular,” Marra added.

The LIRR is also adding stops in Ronkonkoma and Central Islip to four morning trains from Brentwood starting Monday. The goal is to ease the frenetic transfers that CBS2 has been reporting on Jamaica Station.

“The proof is in the pudding. Let’s see how this really plays out,” said Little Neck’s Rick O’Connell.

“I’m sure the West Side has their preference for Penn Station. Hopefully we can find a way to split the middle,” Marra said.

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