The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) proposal to build track extensions at the existing Port Washington Yard would immediately improve train service for Port Washington Branch customers and provide more service to the East Side of Manhattan at Grand Central Terminal once the East Side Access project is completed.
The track extensions will allow two additional trains to be stored at the Port Washington Station, paving the way for additional express service and improved service to Citi Field and U.S. Open events, served by the Port Washington line.
Once the East Side Access project is complete, the LIRR estimates that approximately 45 percent of its Port Washington Branch customers will opt for trains heading to Grand Central with commuting time cut by up to 40 minutes a day as crosstown subway and bus trips become a thing of the past. In order to offer the additional service to Grand Central, the LIRR requires more space to position extra trains at the existing Port Washington yard so they can be ready for the morning rush.
“This track extension project at our existing yard will have immediate benefits for Port Washington customers,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.
The LIRR has pledged to work with town officials and community leaders to try and minimize the impact of the project on parking at the Port Washington station. Under a preferred proposal, the LIRR would purchase a piece of property from the town of North Hempstead at market value and also utilize a portion of the LIRR’s Haven Avenue lot, resulting in the loss of approximately 40 parking spaces. If the LIRR uses only its own property for the track extensions, the entire LIRR Haven Avenue lot, including approximately 140 parking spaces would be needed for the track extensions.
The additional yard space at Port Washington will improve train service for Port Washington Station by offering increased AM and PM Peak service, enhanced express service, frequent service to two Manhattan terminals (once East Side Access opens) and more service for special events.