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LIRR commuter tales from the field

Steve Goldfinger, of Kew Gardens, Queens, waits for

Steve Goldfinger, of Kew Gardens, Queens, waits for the 8:50 a.m. Long Island Rail Road train to Floral Park, where he's a computer network administrator. (Aug. 24, 2010) Credit: Newsday

Newsday reporters are spread out across the Island collecting stories from Long Islanders dealing with the continued mess on the Long Island Rail Road as a result of a switching station fire Monday that crippled service.

Here are some snippets.

By Matthew Chayes

Steve Goldfinger, of Kew Gardens, Queens, was supposed to take an 8:50 a.m. train on the Hempstead branch to Floral Park, where he's a computer network administrator.

"The train apparently is ghost," he said.

Poised to be hours late, Goldfinger approached the glass-enclosed information booth, "which you'll notice is surrounded by police."

"I asked, 'is there going to be a train this century to Hempstead?’"

Goldfinger had checked the news in the morning and saw nothing about delays going east.


By Matthew Chayes and Mitchell Freedman

Rachael King, 35, a secretary who lives in Brooklyn and travels to work in Long Beach, said she was lucky on Monday because she was not scheduled to work. She missed the 7:06 a.m. train Tuesday out of Jamaica but at 7:52 a.m. she noticed it still had not arrived. As for delays on her morning commute she said, “We’ll see today whether we’re lucky or not ...

Mary Vukas, 55, of Farmingville, who works in the legal department at Madison Square Garden, missed her 7:57 a.m. from Ronkonkoma westbound toward the city. She did not seem overly concerned, especially because she had a regular commute on Monday.

“I just came at the normal time,” she said of her arrival for Tuesday’s train. As for Monday, “I had no trouble ... I got on the 5:01. I was home at the normal time.”



Tanesha Chess, 25, of Huntington was in the middle of 90-minute trip that on normal traveling days takes 45 minutes. A worker for a Oceanside company that transports disabled persons, Chess found out only this morning that her 6:16 a.m. train from Huntington was canceled.

“I think they should give you a heads up,” she said from the Hicksville station. “I didn’t find out about this until this morning. She said she called into work, alerting supervisors she would be late. “Jobs don’t care if your train is late. ... Because I am late someone else had to do my job.”

On Tuesday, she had to take two trains and a bus to get from Huntington to Oceanside. Normally, it’s one train, Huntington to Mineola, and then a bus to Oceanside.


Also, we're putting together a list of Long Islanders on Twitter affected by delays. Share your story using #LIRR. We'll put you in our group.





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