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LIRR: Signal trouble that caused delays hopefully resolved

The Long Island Rail Road said Tuesday it is hopeful that signal trouble that has affected train service into and out of Manhattan for two days may finally be resolved.

The issue, railroad spokesman Salvatore Arena said, stems from a new computerized signal system installed over the weekend at Harold interlocking -- a switching area just east of the East River tunnels providing the railroad access to Penn Station.

The impact from the actual installation process was minimal, the railroad said.

However, Arena said "one particular signal" in the area continues to have intermittent issues and the railroad has crews working to figure out the cause of those problems -- and to fix them permanently.

What that means, the LIRR said Tuesday, is that for now the system is operating correctly with no impact on service.

Arena said that doesn't guarantee all will be smooth going Tuesday evening.

In a statement, Arena urged commuters "to please allow extra travel time and check our website for the latest service information before leaving work today."

On Monday, the LIRR said signal problems caused delays of up to 30 minutes on trains during the morning rush hour. There were issues again during the evening rush.

Then on Tuesday, after early morning issues forced the railroad to abandon use of Line 4 -- thereby losing access to Penn via one of the four East River tunnels -- the LIRR had at least 48 additional trains delayed by signal problems east of the tunnels.

"It's safe to say the bulk of the delays have been caused by the signal problem," Arena said, adding that crews have been working hard to fix the problem but that it hasn't been resolved to their satisfaction.

"It's resolved to the point that there are no current delays," Arena said. "We installed a new system," he said. "There's a kink. This kink keeps popping up. It's resolved for now. But that doesn't mean it's resolved to [the work crew's] liking."

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