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Ronkonkoma line on or close to schedule after train hits car, LIRR says

Rail service during the morning commute was temporarily

Rail service during the morning commute was temporarily suspended on the Ronkonkoma Branch after a train hit an unauthorized vehicle on the tracks east of the Pinelawn station on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, the LIRR said. Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

After twice suspending service on the Ronkonkoma Branch during the morning commute Thursday, the Long Island Rail Road said trains were operating on or close to schedule.

In an email alert at about 11:15 a.m., the LIRR said it was on or close after chaos created when a train hit a car east of the Pinelawn station at about 6 a.m.

Service was first suspended in both directions between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma after the train hit the vehicle, which was not authorized to be on the tracks, near Long Island Avenue and Little East Neck Road.

After about 40 minutes, service was restored and then it was suspended again, because the train that hit the vehicle became disabled in single-track territory, LIRR spokeswoman Meredith Daniels said.

When service was restored a second time, at about 8:30 a.m., delays averaged two hours, the LIRR said.

There were dozens of delays and about four trains were canceled.

Daniels said the vehicle was unoccupied and not authorized to be on the tracks; there were no injuries.

A man, 31, driving a four-door Nissan, made a right turn onto the Long Island Avenue and his car got stuck on the tracks, Daniels said. He left the vehicle and it caught fire before it was struck by the train.

The driver was ticketed for obstruction of a railroad crossing gate, she said.

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