Bundle up, commuters. The Long Island Rail Road said delays and cancellations on the Montauk and Ronkonkoma lines continued well into Friday’s rush hour though “good service” was restored for other riders.
Congestion had rippled throughout the system after a train broke down at 4:08 p.m., according to MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan. Though the disabled train was removed from the tracks by 4:30 p.m., that was too late to avoid marring the evening commute for many riders.
The LIRR’s latest delay estimates of 10 to 42 minutes, issued between 7:30 p.m. and around 8 p.m., marked an improvement from the 66- to 78-minute delays seen just an hour before that.
In another sign delays were easing, New York City Transit stopped cross-honoring tickets shortly before 8 p.m.
At the peak of the delays, the LIRR’s website said just three of the four East River Tunnels were in use, and only trains on the Babylon, Ronkonkoma, Huntington/Port Jefferson and Port Washington branches were running out of Penn Station. All other lines had to run out of Atlantic Terminal, according to the online notice.
As evening commuters thronged Penn Station, MTA police temporarily restricted access to reduce overcrowding, the LIRR said.
On social media, commuters shared their frustration and described packed trains just as rush hour began.
“Do yourself a favor and hit a bar instead of going home,” tweeted user @ClaudineMJ.
“Got into Penn before gates close. Usual train canceled. Got on unscheduled super-local train. It’s wall to wall!” tweeted @trayce.