LIRR on or close to schedule after signal trouble

At least three westbound trains were canceled and several more delayed up to nearly 20 minutes early Thursday because of signal trouble in an East River tunnel, the Long Island Rail Road said.

One of four East River tunnels became inaccessible because of signal problems, according to LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena.

Closing one of the tunnels, along with the volume of traffic during the morning rush hour, caused several delays, mostly with westbound trains, he said.

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The LIRR issued an email alert about the signal problems shortly after 9 a.m. At about 10:20 a.m., the service said in an email alert that it was "operating on or close to schedule" after signal trouble resulted in delays and cancellations to traffic into Penn Station.

Westbound trains canceled included the 9:44 a.m. from Hicksville due at Penn Station at 10:29 a.m.; the 8:58 a.m. from Long Beach due at Penn at 9:53 a.m.; and the 9:32 a.m. from Great Neck due at Penn at 10:08 a.m..

One eastbound train also was canceled -- the 9:40 a.m. from Penn due at Babylon at 10:57 a.m.

In such instances some cancellations are made to reduce volume and ease congestion, Arena said.

Amtrak is aware of the signal problem and is making repairs, he said; Arena did not have a timetable for completion of those repairs.

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