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Freight train derailment on LIRR track at Jamaica causes evening rush delays, cancellations, LIRR says

MTA officials Inspect track damaged after a freight

MTA officials Inspect track damaged after a freight train derailed just east of the Long Island Rail Road Jamaica station on May 14, 2014. Photo Credit: MTA

A freight train partially derailed at the LIRR Jamaica station during Wednesday's evening rush hour, an incident being investigated by MTA and railway officials.

Four LIRR eastbound trains were canceled Wednesday night due to the derailment of the three cars. Efforts to put the cars back on track were "well underway," but an LIRR news release said the task "may result in a similarly small number of cancellations" Thursday morning.

Eastbound service was restored and was running on or close to schedule as of 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, the railroad said.

A seven-car train, operated by New York and Atlantic Railway, went off one of the eight tracks at Jamaica, a train hub, but no one was injured, authorities said.

The freight cars were going west toward Fresh Pond in Queens when the last three cars went off the tracks, said Paul Victor, president of New York and Atlantic Railway, based in Glendale, Queens.

The train was going 8 mph when it derailed on the "southern fringe" of tracks at the Jamaica station, he said.

"It's an area where we go real slow because we have to snake through a complicated switching area there," Victor said.

Of the cars that derailed, one tanker car contained used cooking oil for recycling, another held construction debris and the third was empty, he said.

Nothing spilled because the cars remained upright, the freight railway president said.

The derailment happened about 3 p.m., just as rush hour started, MTA officials said. Four out of 100-plus rush hour trains were canceled, an LIRR spokesman said, and 10 of the 11 branches reported delays.

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