LIRR gets back on track with normal service Friday

May 13, 2011 3:15:22 PM PDT
It's been a rough week for commuters on the Long Island Rail Road, but Friday is bringing some relief.

After days of cancellations and delays, the nation's largest commuter railroad says it's back on track.

The trains are on the move again, so all aboard.

After a frustrating work week of delays and cancellations, the LIRR got things back to normal, with full peak service is in place for the morning rush and the same expected for the evening.

And that's not a minute too soon for riders who've been cramming into late and overcrowded trains for the past five days.

"It makes the commute a lot longer," one commuter said. "It makes it more uncomfortable, standing room only on the trains.

The problems began last Sunday, when an empty Amtrak train derailed in an East River tunnel. Amtrak said crews were working around the clock to repair the damaged track, but they did not finish until Thursday night.

All week, commuters who depend on the LIRR wondered what was taking so long?

"We pay so much for the ticket," one rider said. "It's happened so many times."

"For what we're paying, I think there ought to be better service," another said.

LIRR president Helena Williams thanked all the Amtrak workers for getting the tracks back up and running, and all the commuters for their time and patience.

"This has been a long week for our customers," she said in a statement. "I want to thank them for the resilience and patience they demonstrated. We are pleased to offer our full level of service once again. My thanks to Amtrak employees for their extraordinary effort required to perform the challenging repair work in the difficult tunnel environment. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to LIRR employees who did an exceptional job all week of running a modified schedule, assisting customers onboard trains and in stations and keeping everyone informed of the travel options available."

For the latest information on train service, customers should go to or monitor LIRR service alerts via email. Customers can also contact the LIRR's Travel Information Center at 718-217-5477 (718-217-LIRR). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 718-217-5477.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.