NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island Rail Road riders faced hours of delays Wednesday due to signal issued caused by a lightning strike at a substation in New Hyde Park.
The lightning from Tuesday night’s storms caused a fire at the substation.
The LIRR said on Twitter that visual inspections alongside the tracks “indicate power surges caused the power loss, eliminating the ability to control switches from New Hyde Park Station.”
Crews worked overnight and into Wednesday morning to make repairs, but riders still faced delays up to 90 minutes during the morning rush on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branches.
“It’s ridiculous,” commuter Farina Cocker told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “Every day. Long Island Rail Road, every day is a problem.”
Cars were so packed that many had to wait for the next train to Penn Station and when it did show up, it was standing room only.
“I’m about to go home, get my car and start driving,” said commuter Greg Martin.
The delayed trains also caused traffic problems. Because the trains were off the usual schedule, the street crossing arms were going down randomly instead of at their regular staggered times, only adding to riders’ frustration, Burrell reported.
“I take the train as little as possible for this exact reason,” Martin said.
The MTA said a lightning strike during severe storms Tuesday started a fire near the LIRR substation. Service was temporarily suspended Tuesday night, but later resumed.
For the latest service information, click here.