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Weather snags LIRR service

Yesterday's violent winds canceled or delayed train service on nearly half the commuter rail line branches serving Long Island, the railroad reported.

Buses replaced trains in both directions on the Port Jefferson branch, as well as on a stretch of the Far Rockaway branch between Far Rockaway and Valley Stream Saturday, said Long Island Rail Road spokesman Rich Mendelson.

Limited eastbound service was restored on the Ronkonkoma branch with delays about 10:45 p.m., the agency said.

And late Saturday night, the Montauk branch was operating with as long as 50-minute delays, the Oyster Bay with delays of about a half-hour, and Long Beach 15 to 20 minutes.

A LIPA tension wire had fallen and hit a major signal system in Hicksville, accounting for some of the delays.

Mendelson said the railroad couldn't say how many passengers were affected, but typically thousands take the trains on the weekend. He said crews were working to restore service.

Jason Bissonnette, 28, a schoolteacher, was on the 6:16 p.m. eastbound Ronkonkoma train en route to visit a friend when the train was delayed.

He was marooned in Carle Place, and after waiting 90 minutes called his friend to pick him up.

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