An expanded Long Island Rail Road schedule goes into effect this week. The headliner is the new Cannonball, which will run non-stop from Penn Station to the South Fork for the first time in LIRR history. That service debuts this Friday, May 24, departing from Manhattan at 4:07 p.m., making its first stop in Westhampton at 5:41 p.m. and proceeding to drop passengers in Southampton at 6:03, Bridgehampton at 6:13, East Hampton at 6:25 and Montauk at 6:48.
Heading east, there’s no need to switch trains in Jamaica. Heading west, there is.
The eastbound train will not stop at Hampton Bays and Amagansett, although the westbound one will stop at Hampton Bays. Normally a Sunday evening train, the westbound Cannonball will run Mondays instead on holiday weekends like Memorial Day.
Either way, it leaves Montauk at 6:37 p.m., East Hampton at 7:01, Bridgehampton at 7:10, Southampton at 7:20, Hampton Bays at 7:31, Westhampton at 7:39 and then runs nonstop to Jamaica, where it pauses at 9:11 before proceeding to Penn Station, where it’s scheduled to arrive at 9:31 p.m.
One-way tickets cost $27. For an extra $20 paid ahead of time, passengers can indulge in Hamptons Reserve Service, which entitles them to reserved seats and “the service of onboard attendants who serve snacks and beverages at their seats.” Customers can reserve the classy service on a seasonal and weekly basis by visiting www.mta.info/lirr/hamptons.
Other changes include revisions to the Montauk Branch service to close weekend service gaps and better serve passengers taking ferries to Fire Island from places like Bay Shore, Sayville and Patchogue.
The Montauk Branch had a 34-percent increase in summer ridership between 2011 and 2012, according to a press release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last month.