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LIRR: Allow extra travel time during snowstorm

Commuters wait at the Mineola LIRR station as

Commuters wait at the Mineola LIRR station as service is suspended between Jamaica and Mineola in both directions on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Long Island Rail Road is urging riders to allot extra time for the evening rush-hour commute Wednesday, but said issues that caused major morning delays will not affect evening travel.

"There's not going to be residual delays this evening due to what happened this morning," railroad spokeswoman Meredith Daniels said.

But, she said, commuters should allow extra time into the evening ride because of hazardous weather conditions and, she said, commuters are being urged to exercise caution on railroad platforms because of dangers posed by cold and ice.

The railroad announced just after 1 p.m. that trains were running "on or close" to schedule. This, after a train bound for Penn Station became disabled between Floral Park and Bellerose, following a fuse-box fire under the lead car. That caused major delays on the Main Line.

The affected train was the 6:24 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma and the incident led to the suspension of all Main Line service between Mineola and Jamaica, railroad officials said.

The fuse-box fire was quickly extinguished and officials said there were no reported injuries. A "rescue train" was needed to take commuters off the disabled train -- as well as from the train behind it, which also became stranded. The second train involved was the 6:38 a.m. train from Huntington to Atlantic Terminal, a railroad spokesman said.

Railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said riders were delayed about two hours -- most of that time without heat or electricity -- until they could be moved to those rescue trains in "a side-by-side transfer," which involves another train being moved alongside the stranded trains. Residual delays ran more than an hour and 40 minutes after service was restored.

That occurred at 10 a.m.

In addition to the Main Line service suspension, which affected trains on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay and Hempstead branches, Donovan said fallen objects caused delays on another portion of the Hempstead branch.

The first was a downed tree in Stewart Manor. After emergency crews removed that tree -- and restored service, which had been suspended -- service was suspended a second time when tree branches fell, blocking another section of track, Donovan said.

He said service on the line was restored a second time at about 10:20 a.m.

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