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LIRR: 'Scraping sound' leads to mandatory investigation in East River tunnel

An engineer directing his Long Island Rail Road train through one of the four East River tunnels reported a "scraping sound" en route to Penn Station Monday morning, sparking a mandatory tunnel investigation and causing delays to more than 50 trains, the railroad said.

Railroad spokesman Salvatore Arena said the crew reporting the incident was from the 7:08 a.m. train out of Far Rockaway and said a grab handle outside the side window of the lead M-3 car showed "slight damage." Arena said the subsequent investigation by Amtrak, which owns and operates the tunnels, found "no track, signal or tunnel" damage -- and said the tunnel, No. 4, was reopened at 9:45 a.m.

The incident caused delays of 15 to 30 minutes during the morning rush hour, Arena said. It is not expected to impact the evening rush hour.

The railroad said trains were back on schedule by 10:30 a.m.

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