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LIRR May Experience Service Disruptions Through Wednesday Following Amtrak Derailment

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LIRR Train (credit: purist_andrew/Flickr)

LIRR Train (credit: purist_andrew/Flickr)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long Island Rail Road riders will experience cancellations, diversions and early terminations until Wednesday as crews work around the clock to fix damage caused by a derailed Amtrak train beneath the East River.

WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack With LIRR Spokesperson Joe Calderone

Officials said the damage was extensive and crews face challenging work conditions to clear the derailed train, which broke a rail inside the tunnel Sunday. There’s barely enough clearance to fit a crane required to lift the derailed cars and put them back on track. Then there’s the matter of fixing the track itself.

“It’s very labor intensive,” said LIRR spokesman Joe Calderon told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

The investigation to determine what caused the accident is still ongoing.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: LIRR Says The Damage Is Extensive, Disruptions To Last Through Thursday Morning

About a quarter of the Monday morning rush hour trains destined for Penn Station were disrupted. Six trains bound for Penn Station terminated at Jamaica Station. Three were diverted to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. Another was re-routed to Long Island City, Queens.

For a detailed list of service changes, click here.

Service disruptions will extend into the afternoon rush Monday and are expected last for the majority of the week.

“We’re looking at modified service today, Tuesday, Wednesday; the goal is for restoration of service on Thursday,” LIRR President Helena Williams said.

Some Commuters Are Fed Up, While Others Are Taking the Disruptions In Stride. 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney Reports.

She added that it will take more than 40 hours to right the cars and repair some 225 damaged rails.

Of the 126 trains normally operating during the PM rush, a total of 20 eastbound trains from Penn Station will be canceled and combined with other trains.  As a result, some trains will be more crowded.

“We all rely on this. I live on Long Island. There’s no other way,” one commuter told CBS 2’s Smith.

“Who isn’t fed up with it? What are you gonna do? What’s your alternative?” another commuter mused.

The partnership between the LIRR and Amtrak played a role in the morning mess. Amtrak owns the section of the broken rail, so a problem for Amtrak can cripple LIRR’s operations.

LIRR is also struggling with old infrastructure. It’s the latest in a string of incidents that have resulted in frustrating delays for the railroads customers.

New York City subways are cross-honoring tickets.

What should be done to improve rail service? Would you be willing to pay higher fares for better service? Leave a comment below…

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