LIRR Cancellations Persist After Derailment, Frustrating Commuters

LIRR officials say commuters can expect a "near-normal" rush hour for Wednesday morning

By Andrew Siff
|  Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013  |  Updated 10:50 PM EDT
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The Long Island Rail Road canceled 21 trains during Tuesday's evening rush hour as crews continue to repair a set of tracks damaged by a train derailment Monday evening. Andrew Siff reports.

NBC 4 New York

The Long Island Rail Road canceled 21 trains during Tuesday's evening rush hour as crews continue to repair a set of tracks damaged by a train derailment Monday evening. Andrew Siff reports.

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Crowds Pack LIRR Trains After Derailment Causes Major Delays

A LIRR train headed to Hempstead derailed shortly after pulling away from the platform at Penn Station. Pei-Sze Cheng talked to frustrated passengers.
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A second night of Long Island Rail Road cancellations and delays after Monday's train derailment at Penn Station left thousands of commuters frustrated, but relief should arrive with a "near-normal" Wednesday morning rush, officials say.

Dozens of LIRR trains to and from Penn Station were canceled during both the morning and evening rush hours Tuesday, forcing commuters to wait for later, more crowded trains or find another way home. 

"All I need is one train, and it didn't run," said Ashley Andrews of Hempstead. 

"It's uncomfortable," said Arnie Stillman of Huntington. "It's too long a trip. It shouldn't take three hours." 

A  LIRR train leaving Penn Station for Hempstead was carrying up to 1,000 people when it derailed as it entered one of the four East River tunnels around 6:10 p.m. Monday, the MTA said. 

Sources told NBC 4 New York that one possible cause of the derailment is a failed switch, but an MTA spokesman said it's too early to know for sure.

"In this area where the derailment occurred there's track, there's the equipment itself and there are switches. All of that is part of the investigation," said Joe Calderone, a spokesman for LIRR.

The railroad said Amtrak personnel began assessing the damage Monday night and were able to remove the the derailed train early Tuesday morning. Amtrak crews will continue working overnight to repair 500 feet of tracks and switches damaged by the derailment, LIRR said. 

They're expected to complete the repairs and return the tunnel to service, which will mean a near-normal rush hour Wednesday morning, LIRR officials said. 

For a full list of re-routed or canceled trains, visit the LIRR website.

Last month, a train derailment in Connecticut injured more than 70 people. The National Transportation Safety Board has said that two days earlier a track inspection found problems where the derailment occurred, just outside Bridgeport.

The Metro-North Railroad, which operates between New York City and Connecticut and like the LIRR is run by the MTA, has hired an outside firm to review its track maintenance and inspection programs.

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