LIRR cancellations to continue all week after derailment requires repairs

Long Island Rail Road crews worked overnight in Long Island Rail Road crews worked overnight in rain and sleet to re-rail a derailed train in Rego Park, Queens. (March 19, 2013) Photo Credit: MTA / Patrick Cashin

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Long Island Rail Road commuters should expect train cancellations and other service disruptions for the rest of the week as crews repair extensive damage caused by a derailment in Queens Monday night.

The railroad Tuesday canceled 11 morning-rush trains and seven during the evening rush, and rerouted several other trains. LIRR officials said similar service changes are likely through Friday as track repair work continues.

Four cars of an eight-car, non-passenger LIRR train went off the tracks just west of Forest Hills around 9 p.m. Monday.

No injuries were reported and the cause is being investigated, officials said.

"There's a lot of work ahead still, and we're asking for customers' patience," LIRR service vice president Joe Calderone said. "And the fact is we're actually running most of our service."

The derailment happened in "close quarters," partially on a bridge, he said. There are four main tracks between Jamaica and Penn Station, and the derailed train was blocking one of them.

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By Tuesday afternoon, workers had re-railed two of the four displaced cars with the help of large locomotives.

Calderone said crews expected to clear out the remaining two derailed cars Tuesday night. He noted that much of the work will have to take place during off-peak hours to minimize the impact on commuters.