LIRR Long Beach line back to regular service

Commuters board the 7:48 a.m. LIRR train in Commuters board the 7:48 a.m. LIRR train in Long Beach. (Nov. 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Five days a week for the past four weeks, Long Beach resident John White took a cab to the Lynbrook train station to get to work in Manhattan because his local line on the LIRR was out of service.

"For me, the train has been the worst part of the aftermath of the hurricane," said White, who works at a health insurance company in Battery Park City. "It's hard to overstate how painful the train situation has been."

White on Sunday was happy to see the Long Beach line operating electric trains on their regular weekend schedule for the first time since superstorm Sandy hit Oct. 29. The storm damaged the branch's four electrical substations.

In mid-November, the Long Island Rail Road began limited train service out of Long Beach.

On Sunday, the LIRR also ran four extra holiday trains eastbound and four westbound to and from Long Beach -- and near-normal weekday service is being restored Monday.

LIRR president Helena E. Williams issued a statement Saturday saying crews "have worked tirelessly to restore power, clean and rehabilitate switches and signals so that we can resume service."

East Rockaway resident Anne Kuhner, 60, said she had to take a cab or get rides from neighbors to go to doctor and legal appointments in Long Beach the past four weeks. She said she was surprised the Long Beach branch was open Sunday, so she took the train there to visit acquaintances and shop at the Waldbaum's near the station.

"It's wonderful to just be waiting on the platform," she said. "Even the conductors are happy to see the passengers."

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