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LIRR Trains Back To Normal After Third Rail Problem Prompts Heavy Delays, Cancellations

15 Trains Were Canceled, Others Diverted Or Combined
A Long Island Rail Road train in Penn Station (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

A Long Island Rail Road train in Penn Station (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long Island Rail Road commuters faced a rough start to the work week after a train became disabled in one of the four East River tunnels, prompting heavy delays and cancellations.

The LIRR said 15 peak trains had to be canceled and others were facing delays of up to 60 minutes Monday because of the third rail issue in the tunnel.

The problems began around 7:30 a.m. when a train became stuck in one of the tunnels. It was eventually towed to Jamaica around 8:30 a.m. after being stranded without power for an hour, LIRR spokesman Sal Arena said.

“When something like this happens, when we have to essentially work with three tunnels instead of four, we have an automatic what they call diversion plan that goes into effect so that we know exactly which trains we’re going to cancel and combine with others,” he told WCBS 880.

Just before 11 a.m., trains were back to operating on or close to schedule.

“The delays are from cancellations, they’re from diversions, basically trains just waiting to get through the tunnel,” Arena told WCBS 880.

The heavy delays were frustrating for many commuters Monday morning.

“My train was an hour and 15 minutes late,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “Everybody was getting a little flustered. The conductor was not very caring, we couldn’t understand any announcements that were going on.”

“Almost two hours on a 50-minute commute,” another woman said. “People are going to start losing their jobs over this.”

The LIRR said trains to Brooklyn were not directly affected.

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