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Grand Central Madison begins its LIRR commuter train service today, MTA announces


MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan (WABC) — The wait is over for many commuters, as the LIRR finally begins service at Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday.

The station itself is called Grand Central Madison and it is built 17 stories below street level. That means it takes a few minutes to get there.

From the street, most riders will travel down one escalator, then down a set of stairs through the corridors and into the concourse.

Riders will then head down the longest escalator in New York.

Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett found out it takes a minute and thirty eight seconds to go from top to bottom. From there, it’s down another set of stairs to the platforms.

If you want to give the new station a try, the MTA is honoring Penn Station tickets Wednesday at Grand Central.

“So it’s a couple of weeks of what we call soft opening. We invite the public to come take a look at this. See if it’s more convenient for you. For many people it will be,” MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said.

The first train departs Jamaica at 10:45 a.m. and arrives here at 11:07 a.m. Governor Kathy Hochul will be on the first train.

This is the only route for now, but there are plans to add service beyond Jamaica.

“I’m happy that it’s happening. It’s important for our city. We need everybody back here,” one commuter said.

There’s enough new tracks and platforms to handle up to 24 trains per hour.

Trains will operate between 6:15 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.

The $12 billion project has been 15 years in the making, but service to Grand Central Madison was postponed due to delays in testing.

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