LONG ISLAND CITY — Summer hasn't begun, but the LIRR is ready for the beach.
The first Cannonball train of the season — an express train connecting New York and Montauk — rolled out of Hunters Point Station in Long Island City on Friday.
The service departs the Hunters Point, Queens station on Fridays at 4:06 p.m. and makes a stop in Jamaica before going express to Westhampton Station at 5:41 p.m. Then it’s off to Hampton Bays, Southampton, Bridgehampton East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk, making the entire trip in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The service runs until September 7th.
“This is a long tradition that has lasted for more than a century now,” said Sam Zambuto, a Long Island Rail Road spokesman.
There are other trains that are added to the route for summer, but Cannonball is the most popular, Zambuto said.
Cannonball, a 12-car diesel, features two cars of reserved seating (Hamptons Reserve Service) that as of Friday morning were fully booked for the 2012 launch, according to LIRR.
Passengers riding in those two cars can have their beverages and snacks served at their seat by attendants. Seating in the remaining 10 coach cars are sold on a first- come, first-served basis.
A one-way ticket for Hamptons Reserve Service is $37, which includes an off-peak rail ticket for $18.25 and a Hamptons Reserve seat charge of $18.75.
Starting May 25th, LIRR is also adding additional summer service to North Fork destinations, including Mattituck and Greenport.