LIRR unveils travel plan for Belmont Park patrons

The Long Island Rail Road unveiled its plan to deal with the crowds expected to flock to Belmont Park Saturday, after customers spent hours waiting for rides home last year.

The LIRR says it's ready for a Triple Crown crowd thanks to a newly refurbished, $5 million station at the park.

The station features raised and longer platforms, which are able to accommodate 10 car trains and a direct ramp to the grandstand. LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski explained how loaded trains will leave on one track to the west, while empty trains will arrive from the east on a separate track simultaneously.

"There will be bigger trains carrying more people, leaving more frequently," said Nowakowski.

Police and the New York Racing Association are asking patrons to bring their patience on race day, saying it could take drivers two hours or more to get out of the parking lot.

Nassau police warn it will be slow along on Hempstead Turnpike and on the Cross Island Parkway. There will be regular NICE bus service.

The Nassau Executive's Office estimates the race weekend will generate about $20 million in revenue for the county, not counting money spent at hotels and restaurants.

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