MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – The Long Island Rail Road plans to offer a special direct train between the new Grand Central Madison terminal in Manhattan and Jamaica Station in Queens, MTA officials announced Monday.
Grand Central Madison has not yet opened to full service, but a special direct train between Grand Central Madison and Jamaica will allow the public to begin exploring the new terminal on Manhattan’s east side.
“It isn’t every day that customers get access to a world-class new train terminal, so we wanted to open up the opportunity to see the space weeks in advance of the full-scale new service going into effect,” said Catherine Rinaldi, interim president of MTA Long Island Rail Road and president of MTA Metro-North Railroad. “Customers who are curious about the new terminal will be able to try it out, and we hope anyone who wants to will come take a look at the impressive new space.”
Grand Central Madison is located beneath Grand Central Terminal and Madison Avenue between 43rd Street to 48th Street.
Grand Central Direct trains will run between Grand Central Madison and Jamaica every 30 minutes during middays and on weekends, according to the MTA. However, they will only run hourly during weekday rush periods.
Grand Central Direct trains will begin when “facility systems testing is complete.” MTA officials didn’t provide an exact date. The special service will not impact existing train schedules to Penn Station and other destinations, according to the MTA.
Grand Central Direct trains will end when full train service begins at Grand Central Madison, which is expected in early 2023, according to the Long Island Rail Road. Grand Central Madison was supposed to fully open by the end of 2022, but workers are still “putting the finishing touches” on the new terminal, officials said.
The full Grand Central Madison train schedule will mirror the draft timetables released in June, according to the MTA. The MTA will provide at least three weeks’ notice before the full schedule takes effect.
Back in June, the Long Island Rail Road announced the largest expansion in train service in its history with the opening of Grand Central Madison. Grand Central Madison, along with the new third track on the LIRR Main Line, will increase train service by more than 40% systemwide, according to the MTA.
The new Long Island Rail Road timetables will include 274 more trains each weekday than currently operate.