Long Island Rail Road officials said they would restore full evening service as soon as a tunnel-digging project that began Monday is completed.
Railroad officials have said they expect the project to dig a 100-foot section of tunnel underneath the busy Harold Interlocking in Queens to take about four weeks.
As a result, the LIRR is canceling three eastbound evening rush trains on the Babylon and Long Beach lines, and has adjusted the schedules of several others.
There is no official completion date for the project, but LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said Monday that “if the work would be finished sooner, we would go back to the [regular] schedule sooner.”
The first day of the planned disruptions appeared to go smoothly at Penn Station. “I’m pretty annoyed, but in the grand scheme of things, Long Island Rail Road is pretty good,” said commuter Mike Thabet, 33, who rides the Seaford train.
The LIRR notified customers by email, station announcements, social media and published materials about the planned cancellations and delays.
LIRR staffers also have been patrolling Penn Station since last week to give information and answer questions.
The construction work is part of the LIRR’s $8.24 billion East Side Access plan to link to Grand Central Terminal by 2019.
Above: A construction worker walks in a tunnel between the eastbound and westbound cavern of the East Side Access about 70 feet below street level under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. (Jan. 28, 2010)