NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Long Island Rail Road has fixed five broken rails that caused system-wide delays for hours Friday.
It started early Friday morning with trains suspended between Hicksville and Mineola due to a Westbury rail issue. The railroad then partially restored service, but the other broken rails exacerbated the problem, leading to system-wide issues.
Two of the broken rails were in Westbury, one was in Babylon, one in Bay Shore and another was in Great Neck.
In Hicksville trains had been running westbound, but with some confusion on which track.
“Stuff happens. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for 30 years and overall it’s a lot better than driving,” Geri Denien said.
Others were not taking the delays in stride.
“If I’m gonna pay Peter Luger prices, I don’t want McDonalds service,” one commuter told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
Riders in Hicksville said they pay more than $200 per month on monthly passes. Fares are set to go up by 4 percent next month.
LIRR spokesman Sal Arena told 1010 WINS around 2 p.m. that the system was getting back to its regular service for the afternoon rush.
“Obviously there still could be some weather-related delays, but in terms of these breaks that affected us this morning, they should be all repaired,” Arena said. “There was no getting around it, a lot of people were affected this morning by the delays. Hopefully the return home will be easier.”
Transit officials say they’ll need to investigate whether temperatures in the single digits may have contributed to the broken rails.
“The metal, the steel contracts in weather like this as you get down below 10 degrees,” Arena said.
The delays coupled with Friday morning’s bitter cold forced many commuters to pack into a standing-room only heated waiting room at the Hicksville station Friday morning.
“I get upset when there’s no reason for it, but when it’s this cold out, you kind of expect things like this,” said rider Susan Lunney.
“It’s bad and we still can’t blame anything because it’s Mother Nature, it’s the weather,” another commuter told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.