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LIRR: Service restored after morning delays

Broken rails, signal trouble and the report of a disabled car on the tracks in Syosset caused rush-hour delays to more than three dozen trains on several branches of the Long Island Rail Road on Wednesday morning, a railroad spokesman said.

But service was on or close to schedule by early afternoon, the railroad said in an advisory just after 12:30 p.m.

The signal trouble and broken rail conditions, which affected trains in three different locations early Wednesday, were all believed to be related to the cold weather, spokesman Sal Arena said.

Arena said MTA Police responded to a report of a disabled car on the tracks near that Syosset station, and trains were held as a result, but said police were unable to locate any vehicle on the tracks.

That report came just one day after a nonpassenger train struck a car in Brentwood, killing two in a fiery crash.

All told, about 40 trains were affected by problems Wednesday, though Arena said officials believe there will be no residual effects for the evening rush-hour.

The broken rails occurred east of Lindenhurst station on the Babylon Branch, in Cold Spring Harbor on the Port Jefferson-Huntington Branch and between Westbury and Carle Place on the Main Line. The broken rails also caused delays on the Montauk Branch.

Signal problems east of the East River tunnels led to delays on the Hempstead Branch, as well as in the City Zone, though the railroad said those were resolved by 8:15 a.m.

Some of the rail issues resulted in speed restrictions on sections of affected track, leading to delays, Arena said. After the morning rush, Arena said permanent repairs led to one track being taken out of service on the Babylon Branch so repairs could be made, while emergency crews also were racing to make repairs to the Main Line track and to the Port Jefferson Branch.

"It's all cold-related," Arena said of temperatures that were in the low teens. "This kind of temperature, that's when the rails start to split."

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