Letter: Give credit to LIRR storm workers

An LIRR commuter waits at the Long Beach

An LIRR commuter waits at the Long Beach station. (Jan. 19, 2012) (Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

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Once again, the Long Island Rail Road boasts about new equipment and strategies to improve the response to snow storms, while making no mention of the front-line workers who actually get the job done ["LIRR plows through," News, Feb. 20].

If the riding public believes that good decision-making in a situation room is what keeps a railroad running, then I should start selling snow in February. What keeps it running are thousands of workers, working in the cold to clear 700 miles of track and hundreds of platforms and staircases from Long Island City to Montauk.

The workers who operate and repair the snow equipment, de-icers and alcohol trains -- which crews take out with special liquid they apply to the rails -- should be commended. The days of consecutive hours on duty should be praised. Let's provide the credit where it truly belongs.

We agree that communication needs to improve. Very often our workers are the last to know about service changes, while they are with riders who expect answers.

Anthony Simon, Babylon

Editor's note: The writer is the general chairman of the transportation division of the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation union, which represents track workers, conductors, car inspectors, car cleaners and bar car attendants.

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