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Joel Up Front

Trains going directly to Penn Station?

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I was bored one day and decided to look up how to get to Penn Station from my town's LIRR Station. Valley Stream apparently is a transfer station between several lines that I can't wrap my head around, but I notice that on the LIRR site, some trains don't mention a transfer to Jamaica in order to reach Penn Station. Do these trains run express there or something or does it just blaze through Jamaica like it wasn't there?

 

I'm more familiar with the buses than the LIRR (and my station is a good two miles away from my house), so bear with me here...

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During the week, there are a few fliers in the AM and PM that don't stop at Jamaica. Almost all of them are to/from NYP. There is one Flatbush flyer to Huntington in the PM, IIRC.

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I was bored one day and decided to look up how to get to Penn Station from my town's LIRR Station. Valley Stream apparently is a transfer station between several lines that I can't wrap my head around, but I notice that on the LIRR site, some trains don't mention a transfer to Jamaica in order to reach Penn Station. Do these trains run express there or something or does it just blaze through Jamaica like it wasn't there?

 

 

Valley Stream is not an easy station to plan from because of the number of lines serving it. Pick up a Far Rockaway timetable, it has all trains serving the station. If a transfer is not listed as necessary, the train most likely just treats Jamaica as a regular station stop. Some rush hour trains just go right through, though.

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Valley Stream is served by Far Rockaway and Long Beach trains. Most Far Roakaway trains go straight to Atlantic Terminal and most Long Beach trains go to Penn Station.

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I would like to add that sometimes you will see trains to/from the Babylon line stopping in Valley Stream. I've seen this several times on peak trains to Penn Station stopping at Valley Stream, Laurelton, & Locust Manor. I've also seen this several times on late night trains for connections to Long Beach/Far Rockaway where the Babylon train stopped at the Westbound platform at Valley Stream and the other eastbound connecting train was across the platform.

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I would like to add that sometimes you will see trains to/from the Babylon line stopping in Valley Stream. I've seen this several times on peak trains to Penn Station stopping at Valley Stream, Laurelton, & Locust Manor. I've also seen this several times on late night trains for connections to Long Beach/Far Rockaway where the Babylon train stopped at the Westbound platform at Valley Stream and the other eastbound connecting train was across the platform.

 

In my humble opinion, you pretty much have to be psychic to know when a Babylon/whatever eastern train is going to stop at either Lynbrook or VS. (I know, I know... timetables... but I sometimes like surprises!) I had an interesting time going from Wantagh to Lynbrook once. Talk about backtracking...

 

As for what rolls through VS, don't forget about the West Hempstead branch. A lot of times it's just a transfer @ VS, and sometimes late at night the Far Rock branch is a transfer @ VS. Sometimes Far Rock trains stop at the Queens stations, sometimes they don't. Also a few times during the weekend, I've boarded trains that originated at VS. If anyone has any idea behind the LIRR's logic, I'd certainly be interested. Lastly, I'm usually pretty damn surprised to ride on a Far Rock train headed towards NYP, let alone one that doesn't stop at Jamaica. Have you guys found the holy grail?

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The schedules for each line should be posted at the stations with buildings, forrest hills for example has one on one of the wallls between the stairs and the platform in the small "concourse" area. Ones with no buildings should have a sign with the schedules under plexiglass. At least this is how it was last time i used LIRR for anything besides a mets game years ago.

 

- A

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