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LIRR service to return to normal for weekend

Long Island Rail Road service will return to normal Saturday following a week of disruptions caused by a Monday derailment, the agency's president said Thursday.

Helena Williams said the LIRR will offer normal weekend service, even as repairs continue to a three-quarter-mile section of track west of Forest Hills that was severely damaged in the derailment. Williams said repairs should be completed in time for the Monday morning commute. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

Four cars of an eight-car, non-passenger train came off the tracks on Monday, destroying the stretch of track.

Williams Thursday visited the derailment site, where workers using specialized equipment continued work that includes installing 1,600 concrete rail ties, laying new rails, and spreading and leveling track bedding. The LIRR will conduct extensive testing of the track before returning it to service.

Williams thanked her employees for the "outstanding job" they have been doing. "The workforce has really come together in a very professional way," she said.

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