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Day 4: LIRR Delays, Disruptions Continue

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LIRR passengers contend with service delays and cancelations. (credit: CBS 2)

LIRR passengers contend with service delays and cancelations. (credit: CBS 2)

Updated 8/26/2010 6:03 a.m.

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2 /WCBS 880/1010 WINS) —  Long Island Rail Road passengers face Day 4 of major schedule changes and delays as repair work continues on a damaged switching tower.

LIRR says 75 percent of its 144 trains will be running Thursday morning on the nation’s largest commuter railroad.

The LIRR is repairing a complex network of wires and switches following a cable fire on Monday. It says it could be days before trains are running at full service as it tests 77 switching points and 53 signals.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports that the delays and cancellations have had an impact on businesses that usually serve rail riders

You can see a list of Thursday’s morning and evening service changes below.

Meanwhile, riders continue to wonder why 80-year-old machinery is still in use on the nation’s busiest commuter rail line.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 L.I. Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs with commuters in Hicksville

new control center jamaica lirr Day 4: LIRR Delays, Disruptions Continue

New LIRR Control Center in Jamaica (Photo/Ginny Kosola)

The LIRR showed off the future at Jamaica Station Wednesday – a new control room where, come November, train-switching will be done by computer.

That day seems a long way off after the present mess in which a fire took out a 1920s-era train switch control board.

“That’s older than my grandma; that’s older than anyone I know. That’s ridiculous,” said LIRR rider Tatiana Bush.

EXTRA: Planes, Trains and Automobiles Guide

In the last MTA capital projects plan, the LIRR got $800 million more than Metro North, but still hasn’t retired all of its old switch control boards – something Metro North completed in the 1990s.

“They’re much more efficient than the Long Island Railroad,” Peter Haynes, of the LIRR Commuter Campaign, said. “They seem to do more with less, and they do it quicker and more efficiently.”

The LIRR points out that antique switch board technology is still used by Amtrak in Newark, and by transit systems in Philadelphia and Chicago.

“Under our current president, Helena Williams, she put this on the fast track,” said LIRR Spokesman Joe Calderone. “When she came in as president three years ago, she realized that this technology needed to be updated.”

cable damage Day 4: LIRR Delays, Disruptions Continue

Damaged cables in this week's fire (Photo/Ginny Kosola)

The LIRR president apologized for the commuting problems in a statement on the railroad’s website: “We understand your frustration and are grateful for your patience throughout this process.”

It’s a process that Williams told reporters will be time-consuming. “We have to hand check every single cable to ensure that we can safely restore service.”

It’s the 21st Century, but the LIRR is using 19th Century technology to handle the switching issue. One can clearly see the blocks off wood in place at each switch to keep the track where it needs to be – $2 million train cars kept on-track by 50-cent pieces of wood.

Here is the list of service changes for Thursday’s morning and evening commute:

Thursday  Morning’s Service Plan:

LIRR service on the Port Washington Branch will operate normally.

There is no train service between West Hempstead and Valley Stream. Bus service will be provided for train service at Valley Stream.

There will be no westbound train service from St. Albans.  Bus service will be provided between St. Albans and Jamaica

The modified plan also includes service changes for the eastbound (reverse) AM Rush.

The following westbound AM Rush trains will be canceled in the modified service plan
:

Port Jefferson Branch
The 5:59 AM Port Jefferson train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 7:41 AM
The 6:45 AM Port Jefferson train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 8:30 AM

Huntington
The 6:38 AM Huntington train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:36 AM
The 7:12 AM Huntington train due in Penn Station at 8:10 AM
The 7:28 AM Cold Spring Harbor train due in Penn Station at 8:25 AM

Hicksville
The 6:25 AM Hicksville train due in Penn Station at 7:11 AM

Ronkonkoma Branch
The 6:57 AM Farmingdale train due in Penn Station at 7:48 AM
The 7:04 AM Ronkonkoma train due in Penn Station at 8:19 AM
The 7:19 AM Ronkonkoma train due in Penn Station at 8:28 AM

Babylon Branch
The 5:18 AM Wantagh train due in Penn Station at 6:08 AM
The 6:15 AM Babylon train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:27 AM
The 6:57 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 7:40 AM
The 7:29 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 8:13 AM
The 8:10 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 8:50 AM
The 8:16 AM Babylon train due in Penn Station at 9:31 AM
The 8:25 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 9:08 AM
The 8:35 AM Babylon train due in Penn Station at 9:37 AM

Long Beach Branch
The 6:54 AM Long Beach train due in Atlantic Terminal 7:49 AM
The 8:03 AM Long Beach train due in Penn Station at 8:54 AM

Hempstead Branch
The 6:21 AM Hempstead train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:08 AM
The 6:58 AM Hempstead train due in Penn Station at 7:52 AM
The 8:45 AM Hempstead train due in Atlantic Terminal at 9:34 AM

Far Rockaway Branch
The 7:18 AM Far Rockaway train due in Atlantic Terminal at 8:11 AM
The 8:03 AM Valley Stream train due in Penn Station at 8:42 AM
The 8:10 AM Far Rockaway train due in Penn Station at 9:05 AM

Montauk Branch
The 7:12 AM Speonk train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 9:11 AM

Oyster Bay Branch
The 6:29 AM train from Oyster Bay due in Jamaica at 7:24 AM
The 7:41 AM train from Oyster Bay due in Hunterspoint Avenue at 8:55 AM

West Hempstead Branch
The 5:37 AM train from West Hempstead due in Valley Stream at 5:52 AM
The 6:53 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:41 AM
The 7:16 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 8:03 AM
The 7:36 AM train from West Hempstead due in Penn Station at 8:29 AM
The 8:28 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 9:16 AM

Eastbound AM (Reverse Peak) Service Plan:
LIRR eastbound, reverse peak service from Atlantic Terminal and Penn Station is expected to operate at regularly scheduled times; however customers should anticipate delays en-route.

There is no eastbound train service from Jamaica to Locust Manor, Laurelton and Rosedale, but bus service will be provided.

Thursday Evening’s Service Plan:

The LIRR’s modified PM Service Plan for Thursday provides about 68% of the LIRR’s regular 127 trains during the evening rush hour (between 4 PM and 8 PM).  Customers are advised to expect canceled trains, and delays.   Customers will be able to exit or board trains at Jamaica Station, however trains making scheduled stops at Jamaica will not be held for scheduled connections from Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint Avenue, and Long Island City.  LIRR station personnel will be available at Jamaica to assist customers with service information.

To avoid overcrowding at Penn Station and Jamaica, MTA Police will carefully monitor and regulate, if necessary, the number of people entering the LIRR section of Penn Station and/or Jamaica Station, allowing customers access as trains become available.

LIRR station personnel are available at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station to assist customers with service information. The LIRR appreciates the patience and understanding of our customers.

Eastbound PM Service Plan

Regular service will be offered to Port Washington, so customers may want to consider taking that branch if they can make alternate arrangements for the remainder of their trip home.

Aside from the regular Port Washington service, the evening rush hour service from Penn Station will consist of dedicated trains making local stops to Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma/Greenport, Long Beach, Babylon and Montauk.  Customers are advised to board trains that do not require a change at Jamaica.

LIRR is offering Hempstead and Far Rockaway-bound trains only from Atlantic Terminal in downtown Brooklyn, which can be reached by subway. There will be no Hempstead and Far Rockaway service from Penn Station.

LIRR customers are also advised of service changes if heading for the following destinations as detailed below:

- Oyster Bay:  Travel to Mineola for connections to all Oyster Bay branch stops.
–  West Hempstead: Travel to Valley Stream where buses will be available to take them onto to their home stations.
–  Patchogue, Speonk and Montauk: Customers can connect to those trains at Babylon.

There is no train service between Valley Stream and West Hempstead – bus service will be provided for train service at Valley Stream.

There will be no eastbound train service from St. Albans – bus service will be provided between St. Albans and Jamaica.

Eastbound PM Peak Train Cancellations Thursday:

Long Beach Branch:
The 4:15 PM from NY due in Long Beach 5:08 PM
The 5:00 PM from NY due in Long Beach 5:55 PM
The 5:55 PM from NY due in Long Beach 6:51 PM

Hempstead Branch
The 4:32 PM from NY due in Hempstead 5:23 PM
The 5:04 PM from NY due in Hempstead 5:57 PM
The 5:38 PM from NY due in Hempstead 6:36 PM
The 5:51 PM from NY due in Hempstead 6:46 PM
The 6:39 PM from NY due in Hempstead 7:33 PM
The 7:05 PM from NY due in Hempstead 7:56 PM

Far Rockaway Branch

The 4:42 PM from NY due in Far Rockaway 5:40 PM
The 5:32 PM from NY due in Far Rockaway 6:24 PM
The 6:02 PM from NY due in Far Rockaway 6:58 PM

Oyster Bay Branch
The 4:18 PM from Hunterspoint Avenue due in Oyster Bay 5:30 PM
The 6:00 PM from Jamaica due in Oyster Bay 6:58 PM

Babylon Branch
The 3:34 PM from NY due in Wantagh 4:29 PM
The 4:04 PM from NY due in Babylon at 5:05 PM
The 4:16 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in Babylon at 5:28 PM
The 4:34 PM from NY due in Babylon at 5:39 PM
The 4:52 PM from NY due in Babylon at 5:55 PM
The 5:19 PM from NY due in Wantagh at 6:06 PM
The 5:40 PM from NY due in Seaford at 6:30 PM
The 6:05 PM from NY due in Wantagh at 6:51 PM
The 6:33 PM from NY due in Babylon at 7:35 PM
The 7:41 PM from NY due in Babylon at 8:55 PM

Ronkonkoma Branch
The 4:34 PM from Atlantic Terminal due Ronkonkoma 5:57 PM
The 7:11 PM from NY due Ronkonkoma 8:33 PM

Port Jefferson Branch
The 5:47 PM from Hunterspoint Ave. due in Port Jefferson at 7:30 PM
The 6:08 PM from Hunterspoint Ave. due in Port Jefferson at 8:00 PM

Huntington

The 2:54 PM from NY due in Huntington at 3:59 PM
The 4:01 PM from NY due in Huntington at 5:07 PM
The 5:06 PM from NY due in Huntington at 6:07PM
The 5:29 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in Huntington at 6:28 PM
The 6:56 PM from NY due in Huntington at 8:04 PM

Hicksville
The 5:33 PM from NY due Hicksville 6:29 PM
The 6:01 PM from NY due Hicksville 6:45 PM
The 6:35 PM from NY due Hicksville 7:22 PM

West Hempstead Branch
The 4:20 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in West Hempstead 5:06 PM
The 5:06 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in West Hempstead 5:53 PM
The 5:35 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in West Hempstead 6:22 PM
The 6:18 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in West Hempstead 7:07 PM
The 7:23 PM from Atlantic Terminal due in West Hempstead 8:10 PM

Hunterspoint Avenue
(Note: the following canceled trains from Hunterspoint Avenue are included in the
branch listings above):
The 4:18 PM from Hunters Point Avenue due in Oyster Bay 5:30 PM
The 5:47 PM from Hunterspoint Ave. due in Port Jefferson at 7:30 PM
The 6:08 PM from Hunterspoint Ave. due in Port Jefferson at 8:00 PM

Westbound PM Service Plan
Westbound (Reverse Peak) Service:
LIRR westbound, reverse peak service to Atlantic Terminal and Penn Station is expected to operate at regularly scheduled times; however customers should anticipate delays en-route.

There is no train service between Valley Stream and West Hempstead – bus service will be provided for train service at Valley Stream.

There is no westbound train service from Locust Manor, Laurelton and Rosedale to Jamaica, bus service will be provided.

Westbound (Reverse Peak) Train Cancellations for Thursday
West Hempstead Branch Westbound cancellations:
The 4:02 PM from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal 4:47 PM
The 5:48 PM from Jamaica due in Atlantic Terminal 6:06 PM
The 6:30 PM from West Hempstead due in Jamaica 6:56 PM

Hempstead Branch Westbound cancellations:
The 5:41 PM from Hempstead due Penn Station at 6:33 PM
The 8:01 PM from Hempstead due Atlantic Terminal at 8:55 PM

For the very latest information visit the LIRR website here.

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