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LIRR service back to normal after 'minor collision' east of Jamaica station

A Huntington-bound train sideswiped maintenance equipment and collided

A Huntington-bound train sideswiped maintenance equipment and collided with a double-decker train on the tracks at the Jamaica station Friday, July 17, 2015, suspending service during the evening rush hour, the LIRR said. Photo Credit: Tom Foley

Service on the Long Island Rail Road returned to normal Saturday after two passenger trains going in opposite directions sideswiped each other Friday night in a "minor collision" just east of the Jamaica station, disrupting the rush-hour commute for several hours, officials said.

The cause of the 6:15 p.m. collision between a Huntington-bound train and a double-decker train going from Montauk to Jamaica remains under investigation by the LIRR and the Federal Railroad Administration, LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

"The trains obviously should not have collided," LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski said during a news conference Friday night. "We will look at every possible thing that could have caused that."

The left side of the first of 12 Huntington cars struck the first car of the other train, LIRR officials said. There were no injuries reported.

Photos from the scene showed one train car jammed up against a double-decker passenger train, which leaned off the tracks.

It took about two hours for most of the passengers on the two trains to get off at the station, where they joined exasperated rail customers with their eyes glued to screens posting information about train arrivals.

The trains were removed from the tracks Friday night and taken to an LIRR yard for additional inspection, Donovan said.

With Ellen Yan, Alfonso Castillo and Candice Ruud

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