LIRR Question

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On Sunday I am taking the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Jamaica to get to JFK Airport.

I have a choice between the following branches:
Babylon
Long Beach
Port Jefferson

Is the rolling stock pretty much the same on all three branches, or would I have a better experience on one over the other? I read somewhere that the Port Jefferson line has double-decker coaches, which might be fun for the novelty.

A silly question for a 21 minute ride, for sure, but why not make my first trip on the LIRR a good one.
 
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jis

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I am taking the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Jamaica to get to JFK Airport.

I have a choice between the following branches:
Babylon
Long Beach
Port Jefferson

Is the rolling stock pretty much the same on all three branches, or would I have a better experience on one over the other? I read somewhere that the Port Jefferson line has double-decker coaches, which might be fun for the novelty.

A silly question for a 21 minute ride, for sure, but why not make my first trip on the LIRR a good one.
The Port Jeff C3 through service from Penn Station was down to one or maybe two train per weekday the last time I looked. No service on weekends. Those DM/DEs do not behave very well and are notoriously unreliable so they avoid running them on third rail, which means less C3 service to Penn Station since they need to be powered by the DEs.

Some summers they ran the Cannonball to Montauk which is a C3 equipped train, from Penn Station on weekends. But I believe of late it has been a Jamaica originating train.

In general the so called Port Jeff trains are really change to diesel at either Hicksville or Huntington or possible change at Jamaica to a C3 diesel train. As such all three of those will be standard EMUs out of Penn Station, as will be the Ronkonkoma trains (half of which possibly are noted in the Port Jeff timetable too since they provide connection to Port Jeff at Hicksville. The other half don;t, or didn't when I looked last.
 
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Excellent advice, Jis. Thank you.

Would you recommend taking the subway or the LIRR to get to JFK? I will have no bags, since I am just in New York for the day. I was originally going to take the subway to Howard Beach and then walk to the Lefferts Blvd Air Train station, but I see that you can't walk directly from one to the other. I'm in no rush, so I thought that I might as well walk a couple of minutes extra to avoid the Air Train fee. Clearly the MTA has figured out cheapskates like me.

Also, any advice on getting from LaGuardia to midtown Manhattan would be most appreciated. My plan was to take the Q70 bus to the E train.
 
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Unless money is in very short supply or there is significant motovation for adventure 😏 I’d always take LIRR to JFK Air train if I am close to an LIRR station.
It was definitely about the adventure for me - but sometimes this country boy forgets that an adventure in the big city is not always a good thing.
 
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SubwayNut

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If your trying to save the AirTrain fee the way is to take the Q10 or Q10 LTD from the other A branch at Lefferts Blvd, or the B15 from New Lots Avenue, the end of the 3 train. Both the B15 and Q10 LTD take you either to Lefferts Blvd or near the JetBlue Terminal for all 3.
 
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Other than the Pt Washington Branch almost every train out of Penn stops at Jamaica. The LIRR is the fastest most direct route to the AirTrain, which is not cheap, but is pretty efficient. LIRR itself is variable, not cheap rush hours, off peak mot bad, weekend city ticket pretty cheap.. Go to the MTA/LIRR site to see what applies when you will be travelling.
 
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joelkfla

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It was definitely about the adventure for me - but sometimes this country boy forgets that an adventure in the big city is not always a good thing.
If you're looking for adventure, I'd recommend taking the J/Z train to the AirTrain, since it crosses the Williamsburgh Bridge into Brooklyn and is an elevated line the rest of the way. The E train is just another subway, with nothing to see but the lights on the walls.

It will take longer, though, and you'll probably have to take another train to get to Lower Manhattan to board the J.
 

Deni

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Other than the Pt Washington Branch almost every train out of Penn stops at Jamaica. The LIRR is the fastest most direct route to the AirTrain, which is not cheap, but is pretty efficient. LIRR itself is variable, not cheap rush hours, off peak mot bad, weekend city ticket pretty cheap.. Go to the MTA/LIRR site to see what applies when you will be travelling.
Just an FYI - There are currently no peak fares on LIRR or Metro North. Suspended until at least the end of the year. Off-peak fares apply at all times.
 

Deni

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If you're looking for adventure, I'd recommend taking the J/Z train to the AirTrain, since it crosses the Williamsburgh Bridge into Brooklyn and is an elevated line the rest of the way. The E train is just another subway, with nothing to see but the lights on the walls.

It will take longer, though, and you'll probably have to take another train to get to Lower Manhattan to board the J.
I second that suggestion if you are looking for a cool ride rather than speed, I love taking the J/Z across the bridge and you get to go through a lot of neighborhood elevated.
 

jis

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I second that suggestion if you are looking for a cool ride rather than speed, I love taking the J/Z across the bridge and you get to go through a lot of neighborhood elevated.
Me too. It is not even as dangerous as it used be back in the 70s. I had actually taken the J before it was rerouted into its new underground routing in Jamaica. It could be quite an experience specially after dark. ;) And oh the density of the graffiti was something to behold!
 
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Just an FYI - There are currently no peak fares on LIRR or Metro North. Suspended until at least the end of the year. Off-peak fares apply at all times.
That's a good point, and the OP mentioned traveling on Sunday, so the real choice (depending on time of day) would be Off Peak or City Ticket anyway even if they wee in effect.
 
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Just an FYI - There are currently no peak fares on LIRR or Metro North. Suspended until at least the end of the year. Off-peak fares apply at all times.
Interesting, because the app will happily sell you a peak ticket.

Since I am traveling on Sunday I was planning on purchasing the City Ticket.

But if I have enough time I may very well take the J/Z train.
 

Amtrak25

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There are cheaper ways to get from Penn Station to JFK than LIRR and Airtrain.

LIRR is $7.75 to Jamaica, $6.50 to Kew Gardens, $4.50 to either on weekends. Airtrain is another $7.75 on Metrocard

1) Take E train from WTC along its route in Manhattan to Union Turnpike and take the Q10 bus ($2.75, with free subway/bus transfer within 2 hours and 18 minutes of each fare payement) on Metrocard, initial purchase cost is $1). Ride the east end. That is the Lefferts Blvd bus. It runs every few minutes.

2) Take LIRR to Kew Gardens, which is a local stop 4 minutes before Jamaica, for which 2 trains per hour stop. Take the Q10, which had just began its run from Union Turnpike and Queens Blvd 2 minutes before on Option 1.

3) Take the J train along Nassau Street in lower Manhattan to 121st Street, an el station, no escalators or elevators. Walk back to Lefferts Blvd, which is the equivalent of "119th street". Get on the Q10, about 5 minutes beyond above Option 2 on its run to JFK. On weekdays, you can take the M train along 6th Avenue Manhattan to Essex Street and cross the platform to the J.


Q10 bus schedule:

E train schedule:

J train schedule
 
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