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Long Island Rail Road marks 190th anniversary

LIRR President Rob Free presented an award to Phyllis Klecka, who has been riding LIRR trains since 1964.
Photo – Marc Hermann/MTA


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York officials this week celebrated the 190th anniversary of Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), marking the commuter railroad's founding on April 24, 1834. 

LIRR is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying more than 200,000 customers each weekday. Last year, in conjunction with the opening of Grand Central Madison and Main Line Third Track, it operated more than 77,000 more trains than it did the prior year, a service increase of 41%. 

"The founding of the Long Island Rail Road ... marked a new beginning of travel and regional connectivity," said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release. “It has delivered significant benefits to the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who rely on it every day and shows the importance of continuing to expand transit throughout our state.” 

To mark the occasion, the railroad hailed the current longest-tenured monthly ticketholder, Phyllis Klecka of East Islip, who has been commuting on LIRR for 60 years.

"It's the best place for me to relax and read. There has always been a great benefit to commuting on the LIRR, namely the time available to spend reading. The cars are usually quiet during the weekday morning and evening commutes, so my tote bag becomes a pop-up library filled with newspapers, books and articles," Klecka said.




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