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Six Weeks After Sandy, LIRR Restores Normal Service

A train is seen at the Long Island Rail Road station - Great Neck, NY - Jun 6, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

LIRR Station (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time since Superstorm Sandy, the Long Island Rail Road is running on a normal rush hour schedule.

Floodwaters from the storm poured into Amtrak’s East River tunnels and knocked out the entire signal system that manages Amtrak and LIRR trains between Long Island and Manhattan.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

“The original cases were completely submerged in seawater and brackish water completely destroying all the electronic components,” said signal inspector Robert Wendell.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

As crews worked to make repairs, 50 rush hour trains a day were cancelled leaving commuters packed like sardines on those that were running.

“I’ve been riding the train 15 years and its never been this crowded,” said commuter John Oppedisano from Northport.

Over the weekend, workers tagged and tested thousands of newly replaced wires running throughout the refurbished electric system.

But Monday will be the first real test as trains hit full capacity and full speed once again.

There are still some repairs to be made. One tunnel is still closed, but Amtrak says it will be back up and running by Christmas.

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