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LIRR Says Service Back To Normal Following Signal Problems

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was comparatively smooth sailing for commuters Friday morning following the severe weather that impacted our area and caused major service disruptions on the Long Island Rail Road Thursday night.

LINKS: Traffic & Transit | LIRR Latest

The MTA announced said service was back to near-normal levels.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports 

Service Thursday night was disrupted due to weather-related signal trouble in Jamaica. Ten out of the LIRR’s eleven lines went off-line.

Thousands of people waited for trains that either never came or came to halt in between stations.

“I stood on the train for about three hours,” said Jay Beckerman from Massapequa. “They turned off the air conditioning after a while because a couple of people jumped off the train and they had to turn the third rail off so they didn’t’ get electrocuted because they just got tired of waiting.”

This isn’t the first weather related service disruption along the LIRR. Another lightning strike tested the railroad’s aging infrastructure in August.

Still, many commuters say they don’t feel like the LIRR is holding up its end of the bargain.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams with LIRR Spokesman Joe Calderone

“I know it was technical difficulties due to the storm, but the LIRR charges a lot, so I kind of expect certain things to be upheld as far as transport and stuff,” said Jade Weeks Baldwin.

Speaking with 1010 WINS Thursday afternoon, LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said the trouble was caused by a “lightning strike that greatly affected the signal system.”

LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone told WCBS 880 that the system took a direct hit and a full investigation will be conducted.

Share your LIRR commute story in the comments section…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Transit Watch says:

    Nassau County bus is actually trying something new with Long Island BUs, which the MTA ran for more than40 years — by partnering with a private company Veolia that runs bus systems in cities across the country. The plan is to save money, keep fares as low as possible and base the system to a greater extent on demand — routes where each ride actually costs 5X the fare (thank you taxpayers for the cheap ride!), or empty busses, may go away. Makes sense, right? Veolia runs Boston’s commuter rail line.

  2. Dean says:

    First Helena Williams got to destroy the Long Island Bus as prisident, now the Railroad too? Could you imagine if she was chosen for Jay Walders vacated position???? There goes the entire MTA System.

  3. Ralph Forbes says:

    Living on L.I. I thank god I don’t take the LIRR everyday. I don’t envy those who have to every single day. The railroad was more reliable five years ago than today. Most of the time I see railroad work crews standing around doing nothing while the machines are actually doing the job. Two to three hours later the same crews doing nothing.
    As for service it absutly sucks. I have been on the platform when these trains are late or no show; and also a scheduled train running late and never arrives.
    Honestly thing do happen and are uncontrolable, like the weather. Remember the snowstorms this past winter? Come on somebody just simply not doing their job that they are being paid to do. About time that either Albany, or the Federal government steps in on this railroad.

  4. Ralph Forbes says:

    Living on L.I. I thank god I don’t take the LIRR everyday. I don’t envy those who every single day. The railroad was more reliable five years ago than today. Most of the time I see railroad work crews standing around doing nothing while the machines are actually doing the job. Two to three hours later the same crews doing nothing.
    As for service it absutly sucks. I have been on the platforms when these are late or no show; and also a scheduled train running late, but never arrives.
    Honestly thing do happen and are uncotrolable, like the weather. Remember the snowstorms this past winter? Come on somebody just simply not doing their job that they are being to do. About that either Albany, or the Federal government steps in on this.

  5. Sue says:

    Commute starts@ 4:45PM from city – went to Penn, overcrowded, angry people – took 2 train to Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn – told to sit on trains that had no distination to avoid the overcrowding in the waiting room and wait to hear announcements. Sat and waited – some trains were announced and were able to leave (though couldn’t understand most of the announcements – garbled) nothing announced for Babyon. Made my way to customer service to be told no Babylon trains were leaving Atlantic Avenue and to take a train to Jamaica to switch (had to ask – never announced – could have gotten on the two previous trains if I knew!). Get to Jamaica, get on Babylon train – sit there for over an hour – no reps on platform – finally see one – run out to ask why buses aren’t being provided by LIRR 4 hours into this crisis – no productive answer – get back on train – call my office – arrange for private car to come from city – charging me $100+ – with a 1/2 hour wait time – waiting for that car – speak to cops asking why I’m seeing all empty queens buses going by and NO ONE telling the 100s of stranded passengers options on getting into Nassau county via these empty buses – told by one officer that she believes there might be a bus line 4 blocks – too late for me – can’t cancel my car – see MTA officials standing in a group out of sight of perplexed customers – ask why customers not being told about the buses 4 blocks away – they are surprised that that is an option – tell me its a good idea yet they stay in their group – never communicate my information to passengers nor talk via cell or other form of communication they had to relay this to authorities …. FEED UP with this — the next line that should be formed IS adding LIRR management to the UNEMPLOYMENT LINE!!!!!

    1. Sue says:

      Oh … forgot to mention … got home at 11 – 6 hour commute!

  6. John Shaw says:

    The LIRR should be privatized immediately. The conductors are incredibly
    overpaid. Their work rules are antiquated and they really do not care about
    their riders.
    Everyone on LI should vote to privatize the railroad and stop letting these
    thieves charge more money which is wasted on boondoggling.
    Helene Willimas is supposedly a transportation attorney but let her sit on
    train for six hours and do her knitting.
    Contact your congressman to get this monopoly on LI privatized because they
    do not think ahead and overpay most of their workers.
    Pray the LIRR is privatized or else they will continue to hit by lightening strikes
    which is really telling them that they have incurred the wrath of God

  7. Trisha says:

    I can’t belileve, wait on second thought I can believe it that the LIRR can say with a straight face that twice in a season lightening strikes hit their switch system. Come on folks, the odds against that are astronomical. I guess this means any time that I see or hear of lightening anywhere in the vicinity of the LIRR system, drop everything I’m doing and head to Penn and pray that the trains are running. This is unacceptable. It tooks me 4 hours to get home last night, and over 3 hours the last time this happened. I hold up my side of the bargain LIRR when I pay my monthly fare of $300. LIRR your end of the bargain is to transport me from Point A to Point B in a timely and safe manner. Let me tell you LIRR you suck at this. The service is worse now than it has ever been and it is getting worse every day. There is no customer service or customer care. Best thing to do is clean house of everyone in charge at the LIRR and start fresh. LIRR you SUCK.

  8. Marie says:

    As one of the thousands of commuters in Penn Station last evening, I don’t understand the lack of crowd control during these potentially dangerous situations. During the morning rush, numerous NYPD and military types armed to the teeth are swarming the station, but when a situation like this strikes, they are nowhere to be found…not one! And I had the unfortunate experience of having been caught up in the masses stuck there last year when the tornadoes struck and took down the system – same thing happened – no police presence whatsoever!!! Someone should look into this…

  9. kirby says:

    The RR is not running on time, there are still delays and no information! The are still lying and want you to by tickets, so they can make more money give you a bus ride for a price of a RR ticket.

  10. Rich says:

    What a way to run a Rrailroad. Where were the mechinical and electrical engineers? Is there noone who knows how to reboot the system on duty at all times?

    The diesel locos generate electricty and coud have been hoosed to the system to give enough power for the signals and switches? Or have protable generators on standby.

    If the lighneing knocked out the computers was there not a backup?

    Managment sucks

  11. Jimmy says:

    Why isn’t there a commuter bus system on Long Island? When Jersey commuter rail service shuts down most can usually go to the Port Authority and take a bus home.

  12. JEFF GORDON says:

    I’ve been taking the LIRR to work in Manhattan since 1974. This kind of thing NEVER happened years ago – Back then the trains would run in snowstorms. Now they suspend service when it rains a little. Lightning knocked them out for hours ?? Unbelieveable. Ever since that woman took over the LIRR as president they’ve been falling apart – When it snows, I know to stay home because they don’t run the trains when it snows out any more. And the price of a monthly ticket has gotten unaffordable. Thank God I’m retiring in November. Good riddance !!

  13. jw says:

    My husband was aware of the signal problems on the LIRR before he left work, as the MTA sent him an automated e-mail–which was great. The problem was that he checked the MTA website before he left work and it said that the trains were running hourly and then it was even updated to say that they were running every half hour so he went to Penn Station to find out no trains at all were running. He had to pay $150 for a taxi to take him home after waiting for over an hour at Penn and didn’t get home until after 11pm. The MTA’s website should be more accurate and certainly shouldn’t say trains are improving service when in fact they are not running at all.

  14. Steve says:

    These agencies still have not learned that you cannot keep folks trapped in trains (or planes) for hours with no A/C, no information and no hope. Evidently, in the year 2011, there is still no solution to this seemingly simple problem.

    1. Margaret says:

      The LIRR should have a bus company that they can call in an emergency. Get about 15 buses and transport people to a mid-location on each branch of the railroad. For example, bring the buses to Massapequa, Hicksville, Deer Park. People can then have their families come and get them or take a taxi from a location on the island. It is ridiculous that the MTA has NO CONTINGENCY plans
      in place for buses to help their millions of customers in a crisis. BUT, they sure do collect our money every month and pay their staff with overtime and raises. It seems like a SIMPLE solution – get buses to the crisis point and get the people onto LONG ISLAND where they live – instead of Penn Station, Jamaica or
      Forest Hills . . . Also, they have some nerve putting people on the trains last night when NO TRAIN had made it through Jamaica. It seems that they just wanted to get people out of Penn Station – so more people could come in. Then the trains ahd to go back to Penn Station because the trains couldn’t get past Jamaica.

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