05/18/2009 11:00PM

Train service to be restored to Belmont

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Long Island Rail Road train service from Penn Station in New York City directly into Belmont Park is expected to be restored next Thursday, May 28, pending Metropolitan Transit Authority board approval the day before, the New York Racing Association said in a release Tuesday.

The "Belmont Special" had been eliminated as part of a series of budget cuts and proposed fare hikes by the MTA, parent agency of the LIRR.

"This is great news for the many people who rely on the LIRR to get to Belmont Park," said Hal Handel, executive vice president and chief operating officer for NYRA.

Extra train service for the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 6 will be provided, with 18 trains scheduled, beginning at 9:59 a.m.

Since opening day at Belmont Park on April 29, NYRA had been providing free shuttle bus service between the track and the Queens Village rail station for its patrons affected by the suspension of the train service.