LIRR Service Suspended Twice As Nor’easter Clobbers Tri-State Area
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some service on the eastbound Long Island Rail Road was restored, after being suspended for a second time Wednesday night.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced at 9:16 p.m. Wednesday that all LIRR service out of Penn Station was suspended due to the nor’easter, which was blasting the New York metro area with snow. By 9:54 p.m., some limited service had resumed, 1010 WINS reported.
Two trains an hour were running — one to Huntington, the other to Ronkonkoma.
Extremely limited service into Penn Station also remained, with trains bypassing the Queens Village and Hollis stations.
There were also problems among the trains that left from Penn Station earlier.
The 8:10 p.m. train due at Babylon at 9:16 p.m. was held at Rockville Centre Station, and the 6:10 p.m. train due at Babylon at 7:10 p.m. was held at Copiague Station, due to continued weather delays.
The westbound LIRR train from Montauk due to Jamaica at 10:10 p.m. was also being held at Speonk Station due to the nor’easter.
Eastbound service from Penn Station briefly resumed east of Jamaica, with trains to Babylon, Huntington & Ronkonkoma being the first trains to run.
The entirety of the LIRR had been under an earlier system-wide suspension starting around 6:30 p.m., due in part to widespread signal issues, according to the LIRR.
The weather was to blame for the signal issues, according to LIRR officials.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, frustrated straphangers stuck at Penn Station tweeted picture after picture of their nightmare as they fumed.
“Most of the people working the booths in Penn Station said they had no idea what was going on,” said commuter Adam Coven. “They were waiting for us to tell them.”
“We’re here trying to find a cab to get home,” said commuter Anabella Shaw, “and finding other people going to the same place, so we’re carpooling.”
The carpooling line for taxis at Jamaica Station was dozens of commuters long. Among the commuters was a CBS News colleague who was stranded on his way home, with most of the boards reading, “no passengers.”
“Penn Station shut down, so I jumped on the A train out here and tried my luck,” said CBS News staffer Gil Seveneant. “It’s not working out so good.”
CBS 2 caught one of the last trains out to Babylon, jam-packed to the doors. Everyone wondered if the train would even make it on snow covered tracks.
“I don’t know what to think,” said Jackie Medlin of Laurelton. “Right now, I’m just trying to get home because I’m cold.”
Even before the full suspension, the LIRR was facing service issues.
“Separate from that, we had a tree and power line down on the Port Washington Branch and so we had to stop service there. Then subsequently, we began to have signal problems in key areas that results in us having to stop service on every branch,” LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said.
“Our policy is that when service is stopped, no train is left between stations so when this happens, we either go up to the next station or back the train to the station they may have just passed just so folks have the option to get off if that’s necessary,” Arena told WCBS 880.
The LIRR area of Penn Station had been closed due to crowding, according to a Tweet from Long Island Rail Road. No new passengers were being allowed in until service out of Penn Station got rolling again.
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