NEW YORK - The commuting woes continued Thursday for Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders, in what is just the latest incident snarling public transportation and increasing pressure on the MTA to develop a viable solution.
LIRR westbound service was suspended between Jamaica and Penn Station and Woodside and Penn Station on the Port Washington Branch for the first half of the evening rush due to an Amtrak problem in Penn Station, and there were delays and cancellations across all lines throughout the evening commute because the third rail power was out on 12 tracks at Penn Station.
Customers traveling to Hempstead, Long Beach, Far Rockaway and West Hempstead were advised to take downtown 2/3 subway trains to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn for eastbound service.
New York City Transit cross-honored tickets for the 2/3, as well as the E train at Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and on the 7 train at Woodside.
As an alternative, customers were advised to either take the E train or travel express via LIRR from Penn Station to Jamaica and then take a westbound LIRR train for service to Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside.
Meanwhile, overhead wire problems near Cos Cob caused massive delays on the New Haven line and prompted train cancellations and combinations for the evening commute, as well as anticipated delays of up to 30 minutes and crowded conditions.
New Canaan direct trains from Grand Central are not operating, and customers should transfer at Stamford for service to New Canaan.
The evening delays come on the heels of an even rougher morning commute, when an LIRR train lost power outside the East River tunnels due to an Amtrak third rail problem. That led to residual delays throughout the afternoon.
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The No. 407 train, which departs from Port Washington at 5:09 a.m. and is supposed to arrive at Penn Station at 5:52 a.m., was forced to stop just outside the tunnel. The LIRR sent a rescue train to get the 500 passengers to their destination.
An LIRR train connected to the disabled train at 7:40 a.m. and took the passengers to Hunterspoint Avenue, where they were cross-honored by New York City Transit on the 7 train. They arrived around 8 a.m. and were met by MTA police and FDNY personnel who assisted them.
There were no self-evacuations of customers, and no injuries were reported. Customers were provided with water by members of the train crew.
A look at Jamaica train station Thursday morning:
Seventeen trains were canceled or rerouted, and trains traveling into Penn Station were delayed an average of 20 to 25 minutes.
In a separate matter, Montauk Branch service was temporarily suspended in both directions east of Patchogue Station due to fire department activity east of Mastic Shirley Station.