LIRR service disruptions due to rail damage in East River tunnel

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 12:52PM
Derick Waller reports on the LIRR rail damage that caused havoc for morning commuters


NEW YORK - Some Long Island Rail Road riders were left waiting in the cold Wednesday morning due to problems that disrupted their rush hour commute.

First, a damaged third rail in one of Amtrak's East River tunnels canceled some trains bound for Penn Station.

Adding to the problems was a broken rail near Nostrand Avenue which caused the suspension of LIRR train service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal.

The trains that did make it were slow and crowded.

"In New York, the subways not working is not an excuse for work. You just have to find your way there," said commuter Jovann Gulliver.

Also trying to find her way there was Leah Sobel. "I have to switch trains," she said. "Hopefully, I can find a train to Penn Station now that's not crowded because all the trains have been crowded."

She was an hour late to work after her Penn Station train was canceled. Then her Atlantic Terminal train suffered the same fate.

"It roughens the day. You hope to get to work easily, smoothly, and then it puts a damper on the day," said Sobel.


The LIRR cross-honored tickets for service on the E train. Gulliver said that wasn't good enough.

"I want to know, like, the Long Island Railroad, is there some type of compensation for that? Are we going to get a discount because this has been happening a lot lately," she said.

An LIRR spokesperson said the answer is no, that commuters can check for service delays before buying a ticket.

New Jersey Transit had similar delays Wednesday morning due to the East River tunnel damaged rail.

Amtrak says the third rail problem was not weather related, but instead was a track alignment issue. Repairs were completed around 10:45 a.m.

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