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Work train derailment causes LIRR rush-hour headaches

A derailed nonpassenger train led to delays, cancellations

A derailed nonpassenger train led to delays, cancellations and some diverted trains during the LIRR's morning rush hour Monday, July 18, 2016, the railroad said. Service was fully on schedule by 11 a.m. Credit: News 12

Long Island Rail Road commuters experienced rush-hour delays Monday after a nonpassenger train derailed, officials said.

The incident east of the Woodside station affected more than 20 morning rush-hour trains, including 15 cancellations or diversions, the LIRR said. Track repairs were continuing, the LIRR said in emails and on social media.

The derailed train closed one track into and out of Penn Station, causing systemwide delays and cancellations throughout the morning commute and scattered delays during the evening rush. The derailment occurred after 11 p.m. Sunday, spokesman Salvatore Arena said.

The LIRR, operating with one less track during the morning commute, had slightly more than 20 delays, averaging 10 to 20 minutes, including the 15 canceled or diverted trains, Arena said.

By about 11:15 a.m., Arena said the LIRR was operating on or close to schedule.

Arena said the derailed car was part of a small work train being pulled by a locomotive and probably carrying equipment for a project, Arena said.

“We couldn’t get it re-railed by 5 a.m.,” Arena said, “and whenever one of the tracks into or out of Penn is out of service, we go to a canceled combo plan.”

That plan included cancellations and diversions affecting nearly 15 percent of the 130 trains the LIRR runs during morning rush hour, he said.

Arena said the plan meant delays as well as some overcrowded cars, conditions customers shared in complaints on social media.

“Long Island Railroad? More like Long Island Fail Road,” tweeted jasonmichaelbrescia (@jm_Brescia).

The LIRR first alerted customers that they should expect delays, cancellations and diverted trains in an email about 5 a.m., and the situation lasted through the end of the morning commute, as late as 10:30 a.m.

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