Whether you are commuting for work or just want to get into the city for the day, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is probably your best choice if you prefer not to drive a car to get from East Meadow to the city and back. The Long Island Rail Road is a commuter rail system serving all of Long Island. Established in 1834, the LIRR has continually operated since then, making it the oldest US railroad still operating under its original name.
The Long Island Railroad has 124 stations and more than 700 miles of track. Each weekday, it provides more than 300,000 rides to customers and is considered the busiest commuter railroad in North America. The LIRR is publicly owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is the only commuter passenger railroad in the United States to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The LIRR operates an electric fleet of about 1000 electric multiple unit cars. The cars operate in a married pair-style, with each car containing its own engineer’s operating compartment. Trains are typically 6 to 12 cars in length.
Throughout its history the LIRR has had a number of named trains, despite serving mostly commuters for much of its existence. Some of the trains offered all first class seating, parlor cars, and full bar service, many of them operated during the early part of the 20th century. Some of these trains were re-established during the 1950s and 60s as the railroad expanded its east end parlor car service. The LIRR acquired a number of luxury coaches and Pullman cars from railroads that discontinued their passenger trains, but ultimately the LIRR discontinued these services as well. One of the railroad’s more notable trains was the Cannonball, which ran from Long Island City to Montauk and is the only named train currently in the fleet. There were also the Fisherman’s Special, the Peconic Bay and Shinnecock Bay Express, the Shelter Island Express, and the Sunrise Special.