In Elmont, LIRR opens the first new station in 50 years

The first new Long Island Rail Road station to be built in half a century opened in Elmont on Tuesday, in time to transport thousands of hockey fans to the Islanders’ home opening at the nearby UBS Arena this Saturday.

But it will take a while before fans leaving the arena can head west by train – and even longer before commuters can use the station to get to work every day.

MTA officials, elected executives and other project supporters arrived at the new Elmont station Tuesday morning to mark the official opening of the new $ 105 million train stop after taking the 10-minute train ride from Jamaica.

“This is the first new Long Island Rail Road station in quite some time. It is the embodiment of the region’s deep awareness that public transport is the future,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority, acting chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, as he arrived at the station, which began construction in May 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was a commitment to get this done in time for what we all call the ‘puck drop’. Everyone was not sure this would be done. But here we are,” Lieber added.

Governor Kathy Hochul, in a statement, called the new station “the type of project that my administration will continue to pursue as we strive to make Long Island more accessible and provide Long Islanders with the high-quality public transportation they deserve.” “

LIRR trains will begin stopping at the new station Saturday afternoon and will run before and after all events at the UBS Arena, which is located about three blocks south. Free shuttle buses will take event guests from the train station to the arena doors.

Although the Elmont station is now technically open, it is still far from finished. Only one eastbound platform – long enough for eight train carriages – has been built. LIRR officials do not expect to be able to run westbound trains from the station until next summer.

Although the project plans – negotiated with Elmont residents and their representatives – require a full-time station, project officials do not expect to be able to operate regular, round-the-clock service at the station until after the completion of LIRR’s Third Track project. It will provide the necessary extra capacity on the main line of the railway.

That project is not scheduled to be completed until the end of 2022. It may be delayed due to an ongoing legal battle with the Village of Garden City, which has raised several concerns about the impact from the project construction.

Either way, assembly. Michaelle Solages, a lifelong resident of the community, called Tuesday “a new day for Elmont.”

“It’s just exciting to be able to turn around and look at a Long Island Rail Road station with the name of our community on it,” Solages said. “The person who put me off [at the station] said, ‘Wow, my property value will increase.’ This community has been tense and waiting for economic opportunities. “

Islanders co-owner John Ledecky called the opening of the station “another milestone moment” in the development of a new home for the NHL franchise.

“This new station will provide an important transportation option for hockey and music fans,” Ledecky said. “We want fans to take the most sustainable way to get to a game. It’s fast. It’s efficient. It’s efficient. It’s 30 minutes from Penn Station directly to the station here.”

Islanders season ticket holder Patrick Dowd can claim he has already taken the train to the arena, after being among a small group of fans invited on Tuesday’s tour. He came, even though he lives in the Bay Shore, almost 30 miles from the arena.

“Driving is an option, but the reality is that the train is probably the best option,” said Dowd, noting that the arena is now served by two LIRR stations – the new Elmont station and the 116-year-old Belmont station, which will also be in service during events. “So I have two options. At the Nassau Coliseum years ago, there was no option.”

Where is the new station?

Elmont Station is on LIRR’s Main Line, between Bellerose and Queens Village stations and just east of Cross Island Parkway. It will be accessible on the south side from Belmont Park’s northern parking lot and from the north from Superior Road in Bellerose Terrace.

When does the station open?

LIRR has completed the construction of the new station’s eastbound platform, and will run eastbound Hempstead branch trains there from Saturday, November 20 – the day of the Islanders’ home opening at the new arena. The service will be available immediately before and after all arena events.

How do I get home after an event?

Until the westbound platform is completed in the summer of 2022, customers heading home in that direction after an event can either take a train from the old Belmont Park station to Jamaica or take a free shuttle bus to Queens Village station and switch to a westbound train there. .

How do travelers from the new LIRR station get to the arena and back?

The riders can take the approximately ten minute walk to the station or ride on one of the eight electric shuttle buses that will transport riders between the station and the arena on a loop route.

What will it cost to take the train to and from the new station?

Elmont Station is in price zone 4, so a single off-peak ticket to or from Penn Station will cost $ 9.25. A peak, one-way ticket to or from Penn would cost $ 12.50, but LIRR does not charge top prices during the pandemic and has said it will not happen for the rest of 2021. A monthly commuter card will be priced at $ 270.

Which branches will have access to the station?

Initially, the station will only be operated by Hempstead branch trains on arena event days. LIRR was eventually able to run trains there at other Main Line branches, including Huntington / Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay. LIRR customers from other branches could transfer to Jamaica to connect service to Elmont.

How often do the trains stop at the station?

Initially, the station will only be serviced immediately before and after arena events, but the plan is to eventually introduce full-time service to and from Elmont after the completion of several capacity expansion projects, including the third lane between Floral Park and Hicksville.

How long will it take to get there?

LIRR expects the Elmont ride to take about 34 minutes from Penn Station, about 11 minutes from Jamaica, about 25 minutes from Hicksville, and about 50 minutes from Ronkonkoma.

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