New pavilion coming to Mastic-Shirley LIRR station, more improvements to follow


Renovations to the Long Island Rail Road’s Mastic-Shirley train station are underway.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which operates the LIRR, is spearheading a three-phase plan that will see the station’s current ticket building razed. In its wake will rise a new pavilion, which will shelter waiting commuters and house a ticketing machine.

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Karen Dunne Kesnig, who most recently met with an MTA representative on March 4 to discuss the project, said workers are currently erecting barricades and eliminating much of the existing sidewalk at the station as the first of three phases of station renovations.

For riders who use the Mastic-Shirley station, Dunne confirmed what is likely their paramount concern regarding the three phases of work at the station: “None of this will interrupt service at the station.”

Phase two of the station’s renovations will target the current ticket building and are slated to begin this spring.

“Hopefully by April, they’re going to start the demolition of the existing building that’s there and start building a shelter that’s going up,” Dunne said. “They showed us [renderings], and it looks quite nice. It’s going to include 14 historic photographs from the Mastic-Shirley area that are being put together by our town historian and other civic groups … It’s quite attractive, and that will hopefully happen in April into May.”

The third phase will see renovations to the station’s platform. A representative from the office of Assemblyman Joe DeStefano noted that these improvements will begin in June and include upgrades to the existing ADA ramp, new signage, and refinished railings. The representative said all three phases of the train station project are expected to be completed in about a year. During this time, some bicycle racks will be unavailable, and 11 parking spots will be out of service.

“Hats off to the railroad and the MTA for getting this project going,” Assemblyman Joe DeStefano said in a statement. “Long Islanders deserve upgraded facilities and better service.”

In a text message, a representative from Stefano’s office noted that the “Mastic-Shirley Station is one of the busier railroad stops heading west from eastern Long Island” and that “hundreds of daily riders make stops along the way and change at Jamaica for travel into the city.”

The Mastic-Shirley station is one of 16 along the LIRR’s Montauk branch, which originates at the Montauk station and terminates at Babylon. Westbound commuters heading for Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal ride past Babylon and transfer at the Jamaica station. However, the tracks west of the Babylon station are regarded as part of the LIRR’s Babylon branch, which last year sold more monthly tickets than any other LIRR branch, according to MTA data released last December.

Although ridership plummeted from pre-pandemic levels of approximately 90 million annual riders to around 30 million in 2020, an LIRR report dated January 2024 declared that annual ridership increased to 65.2 million passengers last year.

Top: A cropped rendering of the new pavilion slated for the LIRR’s Mastic-Shirley train station. (Photo courtesy of Councilwoman Karen Dunne Kesnig, Facebook).

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