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LIRR Service Restored But Delays Continue After Lightning Strike

There are going to be some residual delays on the Long Island Rail Road due to a lightning strike near Jamaica station Thursday afternoon.

Commuters can expect delays of 30 to 60 minutes this morning, according to the MTA.

Trains are operating with hourly east and westbound service to Babylon, Huntington, Long Beach, and Ronkonkoma.

On the Babylon branch, the 8:35 AM Babylon train due in Penn Station at 9:37 AM has been canceled, according to the MTA. On the Oyster Bay Branch, the 7:41 AM train from Oyster Bay due in Hunterspoint Avenue at 8:55 AM has also been canceled.

In a statement, the MTA said:

"MTA Long Island Rail Road has resumed hourly service between Penn Station and Jamaica and points east on all branches. However, the signal system that controls the operation of trains into and out of Jamaica is still not fully functional. Service was suspended Thursday afternoon after lightning struck this crucial switching equipment in Jamaica.

"LIRR service is operating to and from Penn Station on the Port Washington Branch.

"LIRR employees continue work to identify the damage caused to the signal system from the lightning strikes and to make repairs as quickly as possible. Part of that work involves testing signals on the east side of Jamaica Station in order to restore full service.

"Customers are advised that while this work continues, the signal issue at Jamaica will likely affect morning rush hour service. In the event there is a curtailment of service, NYC Transit will cross honor LIRR monthly passes and tickets are Parsons Blvd - Archer Ave, Supthin Blvd - Archer Ave, Atlantic Ave - Pacific St."

Twice on Thursday, LIRR service was suspended between Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica Station, and from Penn Station to Jamaica Station.

According to sources, there may have been as many as nine trains stranded with passengers aboard. Trains had to travel backward to the nearest station to let riders off. The MTA offered shuttle buses service along LIRR routes.

At its worst, the LIRR's Port Washington branch was the only line operating, causing NYC Transit is cross-honoring LIRR tickets.

Customers can check on LIRR service before heading to train stations by monitoring the "Current Service Status" box on the MTA's website ( Customers can also contact the LIRR's Travel Information Center at 718-217-5477 (718-217-LIRR).

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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