- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - The Long Island Rail Road says it saw an unexpected increase in ridership for fans leaving this year’s Belmont Stakes.

Final ridership figures released Monday found that 28,947 people decided to take the train home from the Long Island racetrack following American Pharoah’s Triple Crown victory on Saturday.

LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski says 25,583 fans took the train to the track.

The railroad says the unexpected increase reflected confidence that the railroad was operating efficiently following last year’s debacle. In 2014, some fans had to wait three hours or longer to catch trains.

This year, the railroad and New York Racing Association spent a combined $5 million to upgrade the train station and an access ramp to Belmont Park. The LIRR also altered routes to and from Belmont.

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