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All quiet on the LIRR Tuesday

LIRR passengers crowd a platform at Penn Station

LIRR passengers crowd a platform at Penn Station during Monday's evening rush as an earlier derailment of an NJ Transit train impacted the other railroads in the station. (Oct 25, 2010) Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

The status board on the Long Island Rail Road website should be a welcome sight for railroad commuters Tuesday morning: It showed all 10 branches and the City Terminal Zone with "Good Service" as of 6:30 a.m.

After the disruptions of the past few days, riders can only hope it stays that way.

Railroad officials are promising it will Tuesday after a nightmare evening rush hour Monday following a "slow-speed derailment" by a New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station, which followed major weekend service disruptions caused by signal and switch work.

That derailment at 10:47 a.m. Monday just west of the Penn Station platform knocked out of service 12 of 21 tracks accessing the station, officials said - including six of nine used by the LIRR. That forced 21 of 126 scheduled evening rush trains to be canceled and delayed many other trains 30 minutes or more.

Officials finally announced the derailment had been cleared just before 10 p.m.

The eight-car train, bound for Dover, N.J., was carrying about 300 passengers when it derailed. New Jersey Transit officials said no one was injured.

However, with the LIRR, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak all sharing tunnels into and out of Penn Station, that derailment had a major impact on service Monday. Amtrak officials said it also disrupted Empire service between Penn Station and Croton-Harmon.

That service was expected to return to normal Tuesday.

The incident came hours after the LIRR announced it was back in business on all branches following a weekend of disruptions for upgrades.

With Alfonso A. Castillo, Anthony M. DeStefano and Nomaan Merchant

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