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Amtrak: Broken bracket, since fixed, caused Penn delays

Amtrak officials said a broken bracket on the third rail at Penn Station reduced power and caused rush-hour delays and cancellations for Long Island Rail Road commuters Thursday evening, even as Amtrak declared the crisis over.

At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said the problem, which officials said surfaced shortly before 5 p.m., had been fixed.

“A bracket was broken and it caused limited power,” Woods said in an email sent about 6:30 p.m. “Bracket has been fixed and full power restored. Trains are moving.”

Amtrak owns and maintains Penn Station, but LIRR operates the most trains at the station.

LIRR officials had sent out an alert at about 5 p.m. Thursday telling commuters to expect delays.

“Residual LIRR delays and cancellations are expected because trains are out of proper position because of the earlier track restrictions at Penn Station,” LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan said. In all, eight trains were canceled, Donovan said.

LIRR officials tweeted shortly after 7 p.m. that several trains were running 10 to 15 minutes behind schedule due to several factors, including the third-rail power problem.

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