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LIRR: Service restored but limited between Jamaica and Penn Station

Wednesday rush hour was not a happy one

Wednesday rush hour was not a happy one for LIRR commuters. Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

After service into and out of Penn Station was suspended for more than 90 minutes during Wednesday's morning rush hour, the Long Island Rail Road announced limited service between Jamaica and Penn.

A signal problem caused by an Amtrak power outage east of the East River tunnels started congestion, delays and cancellations starting at about 5 a.m., spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

Just after 9 a.m. the LIRR said it was in the process of restoring service into and out of Penn Station. Limited train service will operate in 15-minute intervals between Jamaica and Penn and in 30-minute intervals for Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Woodside stations.

Limited Port Washington branch service is also restored in both directions at this time.

Donovan said residual delays would likely continue throughout the morning.

Earlier, at about 7:40 a.m., trains were being canceled in Jamaica -- and Woodside on the Port Washington branch -- or being diverted to Atlantic Terminal.

New York City Transit is cross-honoring LIRR fares on the E, 7, and 2/3 subway lines.

The LIRR started to alert customers about the service issues in emails and on Twitter at about 5:45 a.m.

Holly Munter Koenig of Westbury caught the 7:06 train west to Penn Station to go to work on Lexington Avenue and East 40th Street. At 8:50 a.m., she was pulling into Jamaica, about 45 minutes behind schedule.

"It was a good day to stay home and work," she said. "A lot of times I do. I should have today."

Koenig, who works for a professional service firm, said there were about "a thousand people" on the platform when her train pulled into Jamaica.

Most often, she gets to work by train from Hicksville to Penn Station, usually leaving around 7 a.m.

Officials on her train Wednesday were telling passengers they'd probably wind up in Brooklyn and then have to take a subway to their destinations.

Koenig said several passengers had bad coughs. "Everybody on the train was talking about how they wish they had hazard suits on."

At one point during the morning rush hour, westbound delays were averaging 60 minutes and eastbound service between Jamaica and Penn had been suspended.


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