Those cheers turned out to be premature - the train wound up being canceled.
Continued train delays and cancellations from the blizzard stretched into Tuesday, snarling work and travel plans for thousands of people.
Michele Paoli, a lawyer from Old Bethpage, had planned to be relaxing at Great Wolf Lodge with her three children by now.
Instead, she's been stuck in Manhattan at her brother's house since Sunday, and has been waiting at Penn Station since 6:30 a.m. Tuesday for a train home.
"My three kids are not going to be happy," Paoli, 39, said. "I still haven't called them yet today."
Only four branches - the Babylon, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma and Huntington lines - sent trains west to Penn Station Tuesday morning, on a slow schedule. Eastbound train service was extremely minimal, with only Babylon branch trains operating on a sporadic schedule.
Jeanette Smith Gibson, 56, of Brooklyn, walked a quarter of a mile to the subway while trying to get to her job as a nanny in Syosset. She said she tried going to the Atlantic Avenue station before arriving at Penn at 7 a.m.
Gibson said she missed work on Monday because the LIRR wasn't running.
"I couldn't make it yesterday - it was too bad," she said. "I'm not really frustrated. It's to be expected. It's the hand of God... All I can do is wait."
A sea of frustrated faces poured out of the 7:03 Hicksville train, which didn't arrive at Penn until 8:38. Passengers reported the ride to be slow, with the train often stopping.
Kyle Zeiger, 22, of Huntington, said he spent much of the day at Penn Station on Monday, spent Monday night at his girlfriend's brother's apartment in Brooklyn, then returned to the station at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"I looked online and it said the trains were delayed, so I thought I could get something out of here," said Zeiger, who works as a warehouse manager in Huntington. "I'm just waiting it out until I get back to work or just back home - whatever is first."