LIRR plans limited post-Sandy service

A photo from the MTA's Flickr stream shows

A photo from the MTA's Flickr stream shows damage on New York City subway's A line to the Rockaways. (Oct. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: MTA/Flikr

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The Long Island Rail Road will begin running hourly trains between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, and may have some service restored to and from Penn Station later Wednesday, officials said.

"We are efforting a connection between Jamaica and Penn and hope to have that established tonight," LIRR spokesman Sal Arena said. "But that's an iffy proposition."

If the Penn connection cannot be made Wednesday night, it should be in place in time for the Thursday morning rush, Arena said. The railroad also hopes to restore service between Ronkonkoma and Penn and between Great Neck and Penn by Thursday morning. All the service will be hourly.

"We don't have any plans at this time to go beyond Great Neck," Arena said, citing ongoing problems with downed trees on the Port Washington line.

The LIRR is also challenged by only having access to two of the four East River tunnels used to get to Penn Station. It has to share those tunnels with Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

The LIRR has restored power to Penn Station, but is still without electricity at 20 substations used to power the third rail, signal systems and crossing gates. Arena said the railroad is working with LIPA on getting "priority repairs."

The LIRR will charge off-peak fares on all trains until full service is restored. The MTA is also working on putting together a rebate policy for customers who have not been able to use tickets.

October monthly commuter tickets will be honored through Nov 5.

Arena said the LIRR aims to continue adding service as it can on other branches, including throughout the weekend.

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