The LIRR was experiencing intermittent delays during the evening commute that it attributed to "Amtrak signal trouble."
"Due to Amtrak signal trouble in one of the East River tunnels, we are experiencing scattered 10-15 minute delays out of Penn Station, along with some cancellations. Signal personnel are en route," the MTA alerts information site said shortly after 6 p.m.
The alerts did not mention the weather, which had prompted the LIRR to offer three extra trains Wednesday afternoon from Penn Station for those leaving work early for the Island: a 2:09 to Huntington, a 2:23 to Babylon, and a 3:25 to Hicksville.
“With a winter storm forecast for our territory, please allow extra travel time, use caution when walking on station platforms [and] staircases and always hold the handrail,” the railroad told its customers in a message Wednesday morning. “We have personnel and equipment pre-positioned in preparation for storm-related issues.”
According to the railroad’s online “Guide to Winter Weather Travel,” snowfall of 4 inches or less should have “little or no impact on operations/train service.” Still, in preparation for the storm, LIRR officials said crews pre-salted stations and pre-positioned crews and equipment at strategic locations to be able to quickly respond to incidents as they arise.
The railroad also installed “shoes” on trains to keep ice and snow off the electrified third rail and was operating special trains that apply an antifreeze solution onto the rails.
The LIRR advised customers to monitor service alerts for the latest information, including through its website, www.mta.info/lirr, or its Customer Service Center at 511 or 718-217-LIRR.