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2nd train derailment in a week shouldn't be a problem for morning commuters

Another derailment on the Long Island Rail Road's tracks -- the second in just over a week -- complicated Wednesday's evening commute but posed no threat to morning riders, according to the LIRR.

The train was not carrying passengers when it derailed as it was leaving the West Side Yard on its way to Penn Station shortly before 5 p.m., according to LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena, who said he did not know the cause of the derailment.

Arena said the derailed train partially obstructed train access into Penn Station, requiring the LIRR to cancel some trains during the evening rush hour. In all, 13 trains were canceled, the LIRR said.

"This basically lasted about an hour," Arena said. "As a result of the derailment at least for a time, we could not move the requisite number of trains into Penn Station that would allow us to keep on schedule, so they had to cancel a number of trains and have those folks wait for the next scheduled train."

The entrance to Penn Station was "not blocked completely," he said, but the LIRR was unable to get enough trains in to meet demand.

Arena said crews worked into the night to get the train back on its tracks, and he did not expect the problem to extend to Thursday morning's commute.

The derailment of a freight train just west of Hicksville on Sept. 15 snarled the commutes of more than 35,000 commuters for more than a day.

Other rush-hour incidents in recent weeks have also caused major service disruptions, including a Sept. 2 power outage that knocked out the signal system just outside the East River tunnels and a train that struck an abandoned vehicle accidentally driven onto the tracks in Bethpage on Sept. 10.

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