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LIRR expects near-normal p.m. rush

The LIRR expects to operate a near-normal evening rush hour while repair work continues on the switching point east of Queens Village where a track condition was detected earlier Wednesday.

Recent swings in temperature had a hand in the track problems that caused service disruptions for LIRR commuters Wednesday morning, the Long Island Rail Road said as it apologized to customers.

In a statement emailed to customers and posted on its website, the LIRR said two separate incidents caused the cancellation of four rush-hour trains and the delay of 24 others -- some by more than an hour.

The LIRR said its trains were back "on or close to schedule" by Wednesday afternoon.

"We apologize for the inconvenience our customers experienced during the morning rush," the LIRR said. "Wide temperature swings, as we recently experienced, can sometimes affect our track."

The LIRR detected the first problem -- "a track condition involving a switch" east of Queens Village -- just before 7 a.m. The LIRR took the track out of service as workers assessed the problem, leaving just one track to handle morning commuter trains through the area.

About an hour later, a second switch between Mineola and Merillon Avenue "developed an unrelated problem," according to the LIRR's statement. With just one track available to handle the morning rush hour trains between Mineola and Queens Village, delays worsened and cancellations were necessary, the LIRR said. Other trains had to add stops to accommodate some customers.

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