MIDTOWN — Skip the heliport and forget the LIE — 1,400 beach-bound travelers will be able to ride the LIRR nonstop from Penn Station to the Hamptons every Friday afternoon starting next month, the MTA announced Thursday.
"No trains to change with luggage, no subway ride to Hunterspoint, nonstop to Montauk just in time for sunset — there's simply no better or faster way to get to the Hamptons," LIRR president Helena Williams said at a press conference in the LIRR concourse in Penn Station.
The train, christened the Cannonball, will depart Penn Station every Friday at 4:07 p.m. and make the 76-mile trip to Westhampton in just 94 minutes. It will then make additional stops at Southhampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Montauk, with the last stop being scheduled for 6:48 p.m.
The Cannonball will make a return trip to Penn Station on Sundays, departing Montauk at 6:37 p.m. and arriving in Manhattan at 9:31 p.m.
The train is scheduled to run from May 24 to Aug. 30, with special outbound service Wednesday, July 30, and inbound service Thursday, July 4. On Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the inbound train will run on Monday instead of Sunday.
"It's a one-seat, hassle-free ride," Williams said.
Tickets cost $27 each way, but riders hoping for the Gold Coast experience as soon as they board the train can opt for "Reserve Service" for $20 more, which includes reserved seating and seat-side food and beverage service.
The Cannonball, the only named train in the LIRR fleet, is part of a wider effort by the railroad to expand Montauk service. The LIRR's Montauk Branch saw a 34-percent jump in ridership last summer compared to 2011, the MTA said.