Takeout from Elmont-UBS Arena LIRR Rail Travel

This weekend, Florida Hockey Now journalist Colby Guy watched the New York Islanders win 7-1 over the Anaheim Ducks by train. He documented his travels below:

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Last week, the LIRR Elmont-UBS Arena station connecting fans to New York Islanders games and concerts began operating.

As a guest reporter who chooses to stay with his family in Suffolk County rather than book a hotel, this was great news for me.

Last time I was here, I had to quickly exit UBS Arena after the New York Islanders lost 3-2 to the Florida Panthers and hop on a shuttle bus to Queens Village train station. Long story short, I didn’t get home until around 4am after multiple logins and other crazy antics.

Not funny.

While I didn’t leave it to chance when the Panthers opened the season on Long Island — wisely opting for an Airbnb in Elmont to make sure everything went smoothly — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself on Saturday that blew my mind. gave the chance to test this train line out.

I was in Babylon around 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon when I saw I could get glass seats for $80 that night against the Ducks.

My friends convinced me to do the brisk 10 minute walk to the station and start my journey.

“Let’s go,” I said to myself.

The path was about as easy as it gets.

I jumped on a 4:55 p.m. train to Penn Station, transferred to Jamaica (as every New Yorker has done at least a thousand times) and arrived at Elmont-UBS Arena station at 6:16 p.m.

The station doesn’t take you directly to the stadium gates like the Atlantic Terminal stop did for the Barclays Center during the team’s short tenure there.

Fans have two options to get around this: a shuttle or a 12-minute walk.

The shuttle line can be quite long at times leaving it up to chance what time you get to the rink, but I opted for the ride and was out the door at 6:33.

For a decision I made at the last minute, I was still able to get in early enough to drop my external phone charger into one of those charging kiosks, grab this delicious chicken sandwich from Big Chicken Shaq and have enough time to meet up with my friends before the start of the warm-ups.

Where I was really concerned about this whole ordeal, however, was the drive back to Suffolk County. Especially considering I had a 7am flight out of LaGuardia to get there.

My destination for tonight: Huntington.

The return trip started with a bit of a ride. The first train leaving the Elmont-UBS Arena station for Huntington was scheduled to leave at 10:19 p.m.

By the time I finished my 12-minute walk from the rink, it was 10:21 p.m.…and the next train to Huntington wasn’t until 11:19 p.m.


Luckily for me there were a few other options and I had family willing to drive a bit to pick me up from the station.

I ended up opting for the 10:38pm Ronkonkoma train which brought me to Farmingdale at 11:02pm.

It was a nine mile trip for my family, but saved me two hours because that Huntington train wouldn’t have gotten me there until 1:05.

Moral of the story: you might want to plan on using the Ronkonkoma line if you are going to the game from Suffolk County, unless you are ok with leaving the game early.

The only other issue that seemed to arise was that the number of trains available did not seem to be ready for the sheer volume of people taking the train back from the stadium.

The platforms to get on the train were so crowded that there was genuine concern about whether I would be able to get on the train and once you got there you were crammed on it like a can of sardines at the point where it’s a headache to get down.

There is also only one train per hour for most eastbound routes. The Penn Station line suffers from the same problem for those heading into town.

“It’s a *** show, but a lot less than last year,” I overheard a fan say as the group of fans crowded onto the train.

Of course, it’s something that will always exist coming out of a sporting event. Line 7 is still like that when it leaves Citi Field for Mets games after years of baseball in Queens.

There does, however, appear to be a healthier train volume at Mets-Willetts station.

At the end of the day, as long as you can move around on the train, everyone will make sure you are able to get off at the correct stop. The crowd also gets a bit smaller after the first few stops which helps.

As long as you can handle the pressure and talk hockey with the good folks on Long Island, you’re good to go to New York Islanders games that way.

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