Rail enthusiasts with carefree weekend plans to pop into New York should start making other plans, or think about gassing up the car. With signal and switch control modernization work at Jamaica, eight of nine LIRR branches will see major service changes this weekend necessitating more than an hour of additional travel time.
“The work is planned to impact the fewest customers,” said LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto, about the decision to concentrate the work in two weekends.
Only three trains per hour will operate between Jamaica and Penn Station, about one-third of regular weekend service. Some service will be rerouted or replaced by buses. Many New York stops will be totally unavailable. Some customers may need to switch to the nearby “E” subway at the Archer/Sutphin stop.
The $56 million “Jamaica Cutover” project includes enhancing and centralizing technology for three existing signal towers, including the Hall Tower switching board damaged last month in a service crippling fire. Similar delays are also scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 6-7.