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Morning Commute Snarled For LIRR Customers After Weather-Related Signal Problems

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John Montone John Montone
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was another rough morning for some commuters on the Long Island Rail Road following lightning strikes that zapped signal equipment Monday.

Early Tuesday, service was suspended at the Montauk Branch into and out of Babylon. Power had been restored on one track out of Babylon, but service was intermittent and delays lingered through the morning.

Delays rippled through the system, impacting the Port Washington and Far Rockaway Branches as well. Buses were provided between Patchogue and Babylon following a service suspension.

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Frustrated commuters were bottlenecked at Penn Station Monday evening trying to get home from work. That followed wild weather which dumped baseball-sized hailed and hurtled lightning bolts on parts of Long Island. The damage was concentrated on the Queens-Nassau line.

jimdouglascar2 Morning Commute Snarled For LIRR Customers After Weather Related Signal Problems

Jim Douglas's Acura sustained serious damage during the freak hail storm that struck Aug. 1, 2011. (credit: Jim Douglas/Fresh 102.7)

Among those caught in the wild weather was 102.7′s Jim Douglas of the “Jim & Kim Morning Show.” Douglas said he was driving eastbound on the Northern State Parkway when the baseball sized hail started. The people ahead of him stopped under the overpass at Lakeville Road, Douglas said, causing traffic to come to a complete halt.

“I sat there as the car was pounded by this ice. The rear window was completely shattered, the front windshield also completely cracked,” Douglas said. “There was also extensive damage to the hood, trunk and roof. Other drivers were trying to take cover under the trees on the side of the road. I thought about getting out of the car to look around, but after seeing the size of this ice, I decided it was best to stay in the car.”

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Holy Hail!


The storm also caused signal problems for the LIRR.

It’s the latest in a series of recent equipment failures that has snarled the morning commute for many. Back in May, a 1,400-foot section of track was damaged inside the East River tunnel following a derailment of an Amtrak train.

Are you surprised by the equipment trouble on the LIRR? Would you be willing to pay more for LIRR service if they updated their infrastructure? Sound off in our comments section.

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