NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Two locomotives outside the East River tunnels in Queens have been removed by the Long Island Rail Road, for a savings of more than $230,000 a year.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

“The removal of these engines has resulted in no change in how we handle a disabled train in the East River tunnels,” LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

Zambuto says electric locomotives from Penn Station or nearby can be used in tunnel rescues and equipment can be sent in from Long Island City and Jamaica.

“One of the things that the Commuter Council has tried to do is to work to get the rail road to actually step up the number of protect engines,” says commuter advocate Maureen Michaels.

Michaels says she’s been told it’s not a safety issue, but commuters will see if it takes longer to move a stuck train.

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