A nonstop 4:07 p.m. Friday Cannonball train from Manhattan’s Penn Station to the South Fork will begin tomorrow. The train, making a 76-mile trip, is scheduled to arrive in Westhampton Beach at 5:41 p.m., followed by stops in Southampton at 6:03, Bridgehampton at 6:13, East Hampton at 6:25, and Montauk at 6:48. The service will continue through Labor Day weekend.
A ticket to ride the air-conditioned double-decker costs $27 each way, or $33 if purchased on board. Reserved seating with attendants who serve snacks and beverages runs an extra $20 per trip.
Expectations are high that this will be a popular train, and the Long Island Rail Road has suggested via its Web site that riders buy round-trip reserved tickets to ensure seats. Seasonal and weekly reservations for its Hamptons Reserve Service are also available. Arriving early at Penn Station has been suggested, as the number of passengers without seats will be limited on board to maintain safety.
On Sunday evenings, a Cannonball West train from Montauk to Penn Station is planned to run nonstop from Westhampton Beach to Jamaica after stops in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Southampton, and Hampton Bays. Neither the eastbound nor westbound Cannonball trains are scheduled to stop at the Amagansett station.
The Cannonball train was added in response to requests from customers who didn’t want to change trains in Jamaica with their luggage, Helena E. Williams, the L.I.R.R.’s president, said on the company’s Web site. The train will use electric power upon its departure from Penn Station and later switch to diesel power.
The railroad reported that the Montauk branch had a 34-percent increase in summer riders in 2012 compared to 2011.
In prior years, Cannonball service began at the Hunterspoint Avenue terminal in Long Island City, where additional trains on the Montauk line have now been added for Thursday and Friday afternoons, with connections from Penn Station and Brooklyn’s Atlantic terminal.
In addition to Fridays in-season, the Cannonball train will be available on Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4. Other trains, although not Cannonballs, have been added for the summer season on the Montauk branch through the Labor Day weekend.
The only named train operated by the L.I.R.R., the Cannonball first traveled these tracks in the 1890s as an express train between Long Island City and Southampton.
New Montauk line timetables are available at stations along the branch, online at mta.info/lirr, or by dialing 511, the New York State travel information line.