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LIRR: Normal a.m. rush after partial derailment of freight train

A freight train partially derailed at the LIRR

A freight train partially derailed at the LIRR Jamaica station during the evening rush hour on May 14, 2014, an incident being investigated by MTA and railway officials. Credit: Uli Seit

The Long Island Rail Road experienced a normal morning rush hour Thursday morning, a day after a freight train partially derailed east of the Jamaica station, the railroad said.

The LIRR said it was operating "on or close to schedule" after a seven-car train, operated by New York & Atlantic Railway, was rerailed just before midnight.

Third-rail damage caused by the derailment is expected to take at least one more day to repair, a railroad spokesman said, but "without any impact" on commuter service.

No one was injured in the incident, officials said.

The freight train went off one of the eight tracks at Jamaica, a train hub, at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, the railroad said.

Just four of 100-plus trains were canceled during the subsequent evening rush-hour, a railroad LIRR spokesman said. Ten of the 11 branches reported delays.

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

The partial derailment is being investigated by Metropolitan Transportation Authority and railway officials.

The freight cars were headed west toward Fresh Pond, Queens, on a track that passes along the south side of Jamaica station, when the last three cars went off the tracks, officials said.

The track does not have a platform, according to railroad spokesman Salvatore Arena, and it is one of two tracks used exclusively for freight trains and so-called "dead head" -- or empty -- commuter trains to pass through Jamaica while entering or exiting the train yard on Johnson Avenue.

President of the Glendale, Queens, based New York & Atlantic Railway, Paul Victor, said the freight train was going 8 mph when it derailed on the "southern fringe" of tracks at the Jamaica station.

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

Victor said that of the cars that derailed one was a tanker containing used cooking oil for recycling while another held construction debris and the third was empty. There was no spillage, because the cars remained upright, the freight railway president said.

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