Penn Station Crowd

Mack Rosenberg/WCBS 880

LIRR Cancels 7 Trains For Evening Rush Amid Repairs After Weekend Derailment

July 23, 2018 - 8:13 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The Long Island Rail Road said it was making progress after derailment in the West Side Yard over the weekend, but some trains will still be canceled for the Monday evening rush.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, Monday was the first day in seven months that there was to be no Amtrak repair work at Penn Station. But that was canceled out by the effects of the derailment.

The derailment happened on Saturday. The LIRR said seven trains on the Babylon, Long Beach, Port Jefferson, and Port Washington branches would be canceled for the evening rush.

Eight trains on the Oyster Bay, Far Rockaway, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma and Babylon lines were also canceled for the Monday monring rush.

The LIRR announced the train derailment late Sunday, and said crews were still working to fix the tracks into the morning.

The train derailed as it was moving through the West Side Yard at around 5 p.m. Saturday. Only LIRR employees were onboard the train and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

“Communication is probably the most important thing, and they are remarkably inefficient when it comes to communication,” said commuter Jack Flug.

LIRR President Philip Eng took heat at a board meeting Monday morning because he waited more than 24 hours to tell the public about what happened.

But Eng defended his actions.

“My intent was to report to the scene and make sure that the staff there, as well as myself, were assessing the situation; were evaluating how best to address the situation; to make sure what equipment we needed, what staff we needed, and what would be the appropriate measure to do this safely and efficiently,” Eng said.

Flug, who has been riding the LIRR for 20 years, said he is not buying it.

“And it’s usually in the worst time that it’s awful. It’s the height of rush hour, the height of a busy season – whenever it is you need it the most is when it typically ends up failing, unfortunately,” he said.

Monday also marked the start of a new summer timetable in which trains that were canceled last year, during the “Summer of Hell,” will begin operating again.

However, commuters may still see further delays as the LIRR begins construction on the East Side Access project, which hopes to connect trains to Grand Central Station.

The LIRR said it expects a normal morning rush on Tuesday.