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LIRR evening commute on track after repair work in tunnel

Ten trains were canceled and three more were diverted during Monday morning's commute because of repair work in an East River tunnel, the Long Island Rail Road said.

Repairs were completed shortly after 1 p.m., rail service spokesman Sal Arena said, and there should be "no problem" with the afternoon commute.

A small fire broke out in one of the East River tunnels about 6 a.m., Arena said, and an Amtrak repair crew said it would need three hours to make necessary repairs.

During the repairs, the tunnel was lost to traffic, causing the cancellations, diversions and several delays, mostly westbound, Arena said.

The rail service went to a diversion plan, Arena said. The plan lasted until shortly before 10 a.m. when the rail service issued an alert saying it was operating on or close to schedule after a morning fire "caused by an electrical feeder cable resulted in a third rail problem in one of the tunnels."

The diversion plan came on a day when new timetables went into effect that the railroad says include service improvements for the Port Washington, Main Line/Ronkonkoma, Long Beach, Huntington and Babylon branches.

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