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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

No train for James Gaughran

Gaughran's spokeswoman said MTA police told them they had to leave because "management" didn't want them on the platform.

State Sen. James Gaughran, seen on Dec. 14,

State Sen. James Gaughran, seen on Dec. 14, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Good thing he wasn’t trying to catch a train.

Thursday morning marked Day 1 of State Sen. James Gaughran’s "Mobile LIRR Town Hall Tour," during which the senator plans to talk to riders at all his district’s stations over the next few weeks.

He and staffers were at the Syosset station during the morning commute, handing out postcards asking riders about their satisfaction with the Long Island Rail Road. It’s a potent topic, and Gaughran has recently been hammering the MTA for various follies.

The canvassing was business as usual until, Gaughran’s spokeswoman says, MTA police told them they had to leave because “management” didn’t want them on the platform.

She says Gaughran left the platform to avoid further incident, but he wasn’t happy about the treatment given that candidates and volunteers often work the platforms during campaign season. Gaughran said he had campaigned on that platform previously, too.

“We apologize for what transpired this morning and are looking into exactly what happened,” an LIRR spokeswoman said in an email. “President [Phil] Eng reached out to the Senator this morning to discuss any miscommunications, and welcomed him to return to Syosset Station.”

It’s not clear exactly what led to Gaughran’s heave-ho. There is some question about whether there was a tripod on the platform, which isn’t allowed. Gaughran’s spokeswoman says neither they nor a news crew in attendance had a tripod on the platform.

Gaughran plans to continue the tour. Preferably without delays.

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