LIRR delays to continue this weekend

August 28, 2010 1:46:28 PM PDT
The Long Island Rail Road plans to test its damaged switching system through the weekend, so riders should expect delays and reduced service until Monday at the earliest.

In somewhat of a setback, LIRR officials say they've found more damaged wires than the original 200 from Monday's fire in Jamaica, Queens.

For those hoping to get to the Hamptons and Fire Island this weekend, more trains have been added to the Montauk Branch.

The LIRR is continuing to operate 75 percent of its 144 trains in the morning, and officials expect to continue to operate with two-thirds of the normal trains during the evening commute.

From the preliminary LIRR investigation into the incident, it appears that the cause of the cable fire was weather-related, but the investigation is ongoing.

Hall Tower is a key signal tower through which trains are switched to appropriate tracks into and out of Jamaica Station. With its electrical signal system disabled, trains can only proceed through Hall using a manual system employed to ensure maximum safety during an emergency such as this.

The LIRR will continue to provide updated Service Advisories as repairs progress. Customers should monitor news media reports and the LIRR's website (at for these updates.

For up-to-date travel service information, customers can also contact the LIRR's 24-hour Travel Information Center in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in New York City at 718-217-LIRR. The Travel Information Center's TDD telephone number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022.

Customers can also text schedule request to CooCoo (266266).