• 2023 Cannonball Season - New York Penn to the Hamptons and Montauk

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by Jeff Smith
https://new.mta.info/article/lirrs-cann ... er-service

If you're going from GCT you're out of luck.
LIRR's Cannonball train returns for summer service

Ditch the traffic on your trips Out East this summer — our popular express train to the Hamptons is back!

The Long Island Rail Road’s Cannonball will make its seasonal return on Friday, May 26. It departs Penn Station at 4:07 p.m. and runs express to Westhampton, followed by Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Montauk.

The train will run every Friday through Labor Day Weekend. It’ll also run Monday, July 3, for those getting away for the July 4 holiday.

Please note that the Cannonball does not stop at Jamaica. Customers traveling from Grand Central can take the 4:25 p.m. Ronkonkoma train and transfer at Jamaica for the 4:48 p.m. train to Montauk. If you’re transferring from Metro-North, consider using the Combo Ticket.

If you’re getting an earlier start to your weekend, consider taking the Friday-only 1:15 p.m. train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Montauk, stopping at Jamaica at 1:33 p.m. Take the 1:08 p.m. train from Penn Station or the 1:02 p.m. train from Grand Central to connect with this train.

We also offer extra service on the Montauk Branch throughout the day on Friday and on weekends. For the return trip on Sunday, we recommend leaving later in the evening to avoid large crowds.

If you’re bringing luggage, please stow it in the overhead racks or place it on the floor, do not block aisles or put it on the seats. Bicycles are not allowed on the Cannonball or on peak trains.

Customers are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance. You can buy them in the TrainTime app, or at ticket machines and offices in Penn Station. If you already have a monthly or weekly ticket, you can use it by paying an additional surcharge to the conductor.

Use the TrainTime app to plan your trip or chat with our customer service representatives, who are available daily between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
JS - I have not posted in a while - good Memorial Day weekend LIRR subject featuring today's Cannonball
making its first seasonal eastward express run from Penn Station for the 2023 Summer Season:
(New) Train #16
4:07 PM - Leaves Penn Station
5:41 PM - Westhampton
6:03 PM - Southampton
6:13 PM - Bridgehampton
6:25 PM - East Hampton
6:48 PM - Montauk

As noted in past Summer seasons the Cannonball is one of the longest diesel train that the LIRR operates -
12 C3 cars with two DM30 locomotives on either end - requiring 6+6 double stops at intermediate stations.

Zone 14 One Way Peak Fare $30.50 ($37 on board)

The subsequent train mentioned with the Grand Central connection is Train #18 -
Leave Hunterspoint Avenue 4:30 PM; Jamaica 4:48 PM - First stop Bay Shore 5:35 PM
All stops to Montauk - 7:34 PM

With good weather forecast expect the Friday Holiday Getaway to be very busy this time around...

Prime destinations include Montauk Branch stations with Fire Island ferry connections - Bay Shore, Sayville
and Patchogue - adding even more demand for resort service eastward...

Expect good video coverage of today's first Cannonball run from the LI Rail Enthusiast community -
Search in YouTube "LIRR Cannonball Friday May 26, 2023" either later this evening or afterwards...

Today's Cannonball may be just one indication for how strong demand will be for LIRR East End service...
  by bellstbarn
On Friday, May 26, 2023, did Train 16, the Cannonball, travel on the Central Branch? I see trains through Massapequa randomly, but around 5 p.m. Friday, I saw one or two electric trains eastbound through stations on Track 1. They did not stop. (Of course, my perception could be wrong.)
Everyone - Good start to the LIRR 2023 East End resort season service taking note to this video posted by
"Redstone Soldier" of the passengers leaving the Cannonball at Westhampton Station (11 min 8 sec)
This is a follow-up video due to technical problems with the longer livestream Friday afternoon May 26.
With those problems some of the Cannonball arrival stop was lost in the earlier posting.

There was a noteable lack of videos posted of the Cannonball this time around - and to take note to BSB's
question no one posted any video of the train anywhere between Jamaica and Babylon (as of Sunday 5/28)
to see what route the Cannonball used eastward...

I watched the Cannonball pass through Patchogue Station at about 5:20 PM - the note of the train running up
to around 10 minutes late now makes sense to me...

In the introductory MTA notice the earlier Friday afternoon train mentioned basically is what was once known
as the "Advance Cannonball" for Getaway Friday riders - Train #12 (Friday and July 3 only)
1:15 PM - Leave Hunterspoint Avenue
1:33 PM - Leave Jamaica
3:04 PM - Westhampton
3:19 PM - Hampton Bays
3:31 PM - Southampton
3:39 PM - Bridgehampton
3:49 PM - East Hampton
3:54 PM - Amagansett
4:14 PM - Montauk

From City Zone One the off-peak Zone 14 one way fare is $22.25 ($28 on board)
LIRR Peak Hours eastbound weekdays are trains leaving City Terminals between 4 and 8 PM.

JS - To use a MNCR/LIRR Combo Ticket on the Cannonball requires one to make their own way between
Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station either on the Subway or Taxi - or walking if there is ample time
before the 4:07 PM Cannonball departure. This can be tough even under regular conditions on a good day...

It is now so much easier to not have to leave GCT at all to access the LIRR even with having to "Change At
Jamaica" for East End train service such as the Friday "Advance Cannonball"...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Sun May 28, 2023 1:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by edflyerssn007
bellstbarn wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 6:19 pm On Friday, May 26, 2023, did Train 16, the Cannonball, travel on the Central Branch? I see trains through Massapequa randomly, but around 5 p.m. Friday, I saw one or two electric trains eastbound through stations on Track 1. They did not stop. (Of course, my perception could be wrong.)
They went via the Babylon Branch on Friday and apparently they held some trains to make it happen. Train was running about 10 minutes late into Westhampton as a result.

Here's my video of it passing through Amagansett. https://youtu.be/tkd4Rg8romQ
Everyone - With Memorial Day 2023 upon us - time for the big LIRR Return westward...
There are FIVE trains in the Montauk Branch May 22 schedule that operate Sundays and Holidays only -
(except Sunday September 3 - Labor Day is Monday September 4, 2023)
1:17 PM - Leave Montauk
All stops to Speonk 2:27 PM
3:56 PM - Arrive Jamaica
3:25 PM - Leave Southampton
3:35 PM - Hampton Bays
3:45 PM - Westhampton
3:52 PM - Speonk
5:16 PM - Arrive Jamaica
4:18 PM - Leave Montauk
All stops to Patchogue 5:53 PM
6:51 PM - Arrive Jamaica
6:22 PM - Leave Montauk
All stops to Westhampton 7:25 PM
8:51 PM - Arrive Jamaica
9:11 PM - Arrive Penn Station
8:22 PM - Leave Montauk
All stops to Westhampton 9:25 PM
10:51 PM - Arrive Jamaica

The nine hours Sunday between 1 PM and 10 PM should be the busiest travel period for all modes
towards New York City on this Memorial Day 2023 - this has been a perfect weekend weatherwise...
  by newkirk
Speaking of Montauk service, is overcrowding still an issue post pandemic ?

I don't think then LIRR will be leasing those MARC coaches, although they were a hit with rail fan photographers.
  by krispy
The bad overcrowding was around 2015-2016 (the Montaukalypse) but after that the town reigned in the insanity and the clubs cashing in on that. Coupled with the pandemic driving out of lot of folks from NYC, so now a lot of the old commuting crowd live there year round. Not sure where the "popular" places for the trend mongering 20-somethings but from what I understand it has shifted to either out of the region or to Fire Island. Can't wait to see what the head counts are the next few weekends and look to see if more are going to Bayshore/Patchogue (ferries) or to points farther out East.
  by bellstbarn
My decades-long observations may be of little value. Of 365 days in a year, there is a repeated Sunday scene at the long westbound platform at Bay Shore, maybe eight times a year. Vans from the Fire Island ferry drop crowds onto the platform, and scoots of three or four cars get jammed for the short run to Babylon. Asking the vans to drop passengers at Babylon would help the loading problem, but such a move would just coax more riders to take the van to Manhattan. And I enjoy the fun of watching beach-returnees search for a C-3 vestibule that has space. The expense of extending third rail to Bay Shore is not worth it.
  by krispy
There had been a plan to extend it at some point, hence the elevated platform, but like the unused platform at Greenlawn it came to naught. I haven't heard of any recent plans to do it. Pt. Jeff yes, but not east of Babylon.
Krispy and BSB: Interesting observation about young adults and Montauk peaking back around 2015-2016...
Young partiers found another resort to travel to after authorities addressed problems there then...

Could new destinations include Fire Island towns accessible from Bay Shore, Sayville and Patchogue?
What about New Jersey Shore towns north and south (Bay Head/Seaside Heights and northward or
Long Beach Island southward towards Atlantic City and Cape May?)

I remember on Friday afternoons during the Summer season that the LIRR would charter buses to stand
by at Babylon Station near the main escalator/ticket office just in case the diesel trains eastward became
too crowded - is this still done or did this end with "The Problem" back in 2020?

I recall Bay Shore being served by Tommy's Taxi - their large vehicles had "Fire Island Bound" lettering...
To serve Babylon direct remember the time factor on 27A west towards Babylon Village with its congestion
to go north on Deer Park Avenue just to get up to the Babylon Rail - not only would Bay Shore cabs or jitneys
be "intruding" on the taxi companies authorized at Babylon - they most likely would be going back to Bay
Shore "light" meaning no eastward return fares not being allowed to "hack" in Babylon...

Another alternative is Suffolk Transit S-40 bus service between the Babylon and Patchogue Stations by way of
Montauk Highway (NYS 27A) serving "downtown" areas of Bay Shore, Islip, East Islip and Sayville enroute...
The S=40 runs half hourly on weekdays and hourly on weekends. One more mention is the S-47 bus from
Babylon Station to Robert Moses State Park running seven day service until around Labor Day - hourly on
weekdays and half hourly on weekends - in the past S-47 honored LIRR RMSP package tickets in season...
  by krispy
MACTRAXX: I haven't gone out there in ages, as I was saddened to see the seismic shift in the demographics of what used to be a very unique town was ruined as the old timers in Montauk died off, retired, etc. and the newcomers were from a different planet and/or dimension. But the "problem" has been reigned in by a very zealous group of folks at East Hampton Town, so it was a lot less by the time the LI put in signals in 2017. And by the end of the Pandemic, most of them bought up what little was left of the housing out there and it's now much more manageable.

Many of us grew up bouncing out there when we were young, sharing a room at the Ronjo (RIP!), and getting gassed at places like the Hampton Bays Boardy Barn. I have fond memories of getting wrecked in the parking lot just waiting for the place to open. I rarely saw any conflict or inappropriate action and life was good. Fast forward a decade or two, and it's a totally different scene. A gal needs pepper spray and guys are way too quick to get their fists up. During the crazy time (2014-2016) I took a train home that made the last pickup at ND and saw an army of cops and management trying to herd this drunken mass into the train and for the first time I saw a group of young men surfing a trail of puke on the lower level of a double decker, and the smell was unbelievable.

Thank God they're gone. Hopefully they grew up. (Does anyone know if the Boardy Barn finally closed? The owner was very wily in keeping it open as long is he did) One of the things that helped wreck it was some really greedy self-centered rich people who would buy up a restaurant, pump it up on the web and not care at all about the effects on the community. One dude bought the place in front of the 2nd Montauk station and then complained about the idling diesels in the yard, and wanted them removed. I pointed out that the railroad was here over 100 years before him, they shut them down Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, and if he actually lived there he would know that. Some (like Snoozeday) thought East Hampton Town was being harsh to the poor businesses exploiting the Cidiots but if I lived out there year round then "don't let the door hit you in the ...!" especially after a few wanted to secede from EH too somehow. Ah, Bob Matheson was laughing in heaven at that one I'm sure. (Old owner of the OBI (RIP!) and "move out before it's too late!")

Very few of "the crowd" would've paid any mind to Suffolk Transit. I once resided in a few spots East of Babylon and am quite familiar with the S-40, and when we'd get into Babylon with no connection for whatever reason, I'd try to tell the others about where to catch the S-40 and they were totally against it, mostly out of ignorance. The Jitney was a different story, especially with the wealthier NYC crowd but I imagine that grew old too while stuck in the jam on Montauk Hwy. I'm not sure where they are going now, but I do see a lot less kids post-pandemic on the trains, as opposed to the ones who would jump up on the platform, wave at and then wait for Dad to leave, shed most of their clothes and stash it in the salt joboxes on the platforms and go into the City, Wantagh, RVC with insufficient clothes. Now - who knows? I just thank my lucky stars my kids didn't fall in with that crowd and see the beach for what it is. The NY Times did have an article recently about how the Hamptons and Montauk have been too successful and have priced the Web 2.0 kids out of the area and mention the Fire Island beaches. I've ridden my bike a few times into the Land of No from Field 5 looking for blitzing fish off of the beach and they are very vigilant for young'uns ("It's ok, he's a boomer! let him through!) So, we'll see. Going to be an interesting Summer, the ridership may shed some light on it later on...
  by freightguy

Those are all excellent points about "The End." A close friend of mine his family has been out there since the 1950's, by the early 2000's it was starting to lose the old MTK feel. The trains seem really popular they just bring out the wrong type of element to vacation. Hipsters and so forth.