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Long IslandTransportation

LIRR: Eastbound service on 2 branches restored after trespasser struck

MTA Police officers and an LIRR worker investigate

MTA Police officers and an LIRR worker investigate at the site where a person was struck by a train in Garden City Park on Sunday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

About 150 people passengers bound for Penn Station were stranded for about two and a half hours Sunday evening when their train hit a person trespassing on the Long Island Rail Road tracks near the Merillon Avenue station in Garden City Park, the railroad said.

The incident also forced the temporary suspension of eastbound service on the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches.

There was no immediate information on the condition of the victim.

By 8:15 p.m. Sunday, service was coming back on line with some trains running from Penn Station to Huntington and Ronkonkoma, and from Jamaica to Oyster Bay. 

Shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday the LIRR tweeted that as of then the railroad was operating on or close to schedule on the Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Oyster Bay branches.

It was unclear Sunday night whether the disruption would impact the LIRR's Monday morning service.

Officials said the train that hit the person on the tracks left Huntington at 5:10 p.m. and had been scheduled to arrive at Penn Station at 6:16 p.m. The train was held at 5:46 p.m. after striking the individual.

"The train stopped and then the electricity went off," passenger Samara Schanfeld said in a phone interview while she was still stuck on the train. She said riders were given boxes of water by staff on the train. 

About a dozen LIRR and law enforcement officials were standing near the track Sunday evening, illuminated by an MTA Police Emergency Service Unit. About half a dozen onlookers were watching the scene, attracted either by the flashing lights near their homes or because they knew someone on the train, but they declined to comment.

MTA officials said the train moved once the area was cleared by the MTA Police.

Riders had long waits at Penn Station and Jamaica while the LIRR temporarily halted service between Penn Station and Hicksville in both directions on the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches. Trains on the Oyster Bay branch were altered to start and end at Mineola.

Also Sunday evening, the westbound Babylon line was experiencing delays due to a rubbish fire on tracks in Rockville Centre, the LIRR said.

With Rachelle Blidner


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