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LIRR service returns to normal Tuesday, railroad officials say

Commuters crowd the platform at the LIRR's Jamaica

Commuters crowd the platform at the LIRR's Jamaica station on Monday morning. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Long Island Rail Road officials announced that the service delays that inconvenienced commuters for both rush-hour commutes on Monday are over, adding that they expect normal operations Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, other than minor equipment delays, branches were listed in good service on the railroad's website.

"At this time, we anticipate running a normal AM rush on Tuesday, July 24th," the LIRR said in a statement posted on its website Monday night. "In the event additional service changes become necessary, we will update customers as soon as information becomes available." The railroad's Twitter feed had a similar message.

On Monday, as many as eight morning rush-hour trains and seven trains in the afternoon were canceled, the result of Saturday's derailment of a nonpassenger train at the West Side Yard in Manhattan.

Monday's cancellations left rush-hour commuters — many caught off guard by the LIRR's Sunday night notification of service disruptions — scrambling to find other trains to get where they needed to go.

The cancellations included three trains on the Babylon line, including the Wantagh-bound 4:57, 5:19 and 6:05 p.m. trains. Also canceled were the 4:40 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Long Beach trains; the 6:30 p.m. Huntington-bound train on the Port Jefferson line and the 6:24 p.m. train heading to Port Washington.

The LIRR didn't make public the derailment of two cars, which occurred about 5 p.m. Saturday, until more than 24 hours later.

In response to criticism from some customers for not notifying the public until about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, LIRR president Phillip Eng on Monday said the agency needed to first evaluate "how best to address the situation, make sure what equipment we needed, what staff we needed and what would be the appropriate measures" to address this safely and efficiently.

After initially visiting the derailment scene Saturday night and securing extra personnel and equipment from Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak, Eng on Sunday began reviewing the potential effects on Monday morning service. He reached out to MTA board members to notify them about the situation at about 1 p.m. Sunday, he said.

“At that point, I had enough information to talk about the situation and also begin preparing and reviewing what message we needed to share with our customers,” Eng said.

The LIRR is still reviewing the cause of the derailment, Eng said.

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