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Long Island

LIRR: Babylon line train cancellations due to ‘slippery rail’

A large number of cars were out of service because of wheels damaged after sliding along wet leaves and hitting bare metal.

The Long Island Rail Road canceled two westbound trains on the Babylon Branch on Tuesday morning — the third weekday in a row it has done so.

The 6:57 a.m. and the 7:29 a.m. trains from Freeport were canceled again Tuesday due to car shortages caused by “slippery rail,” the railroad said on its website.

A railroad spokeswoman had no immediate comment Tuesday morning.

The railroad has said a large number of train cars were out of service because of wheels that had become damaged after they slid along wet leaves on the tracks and then hit bare metal.

The railroad has not made public how many cars in its 1,200-car fleet are out of service because of the damaged wheels, nor why these consecutive cancellations are only on the Babylon branch.

The LIRR sent out an advisory last week week telling riders to expect shorter trains and cancellations “due to car shortages caused by a seasonal problem called ‘Slippery Rail.’”

“It occurs when fallen leaves deposit a slippery residue on the rails that causes train wheels to skid & develop flat spots,” the railroad said. “Cars with flat wheels are taken out of service for repair & returned to service as soon as possible.”

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