Thursday, December 18, 2014

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LIRR Train Derailment Limits Service From Penn To Jamaica

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TWC News: LIRR Train Derailment Limits Service From Penn To Jamaica
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A Long Island Rail Road train derailed as it left Penn Station Monday evening, and while no injuries were reported, there was resulting limited service between Penn and Jamaica Stations throughout Monday night.

West-bound service to Penn was completely shut down for most of Monday night and was only beginning to be restored shortly before midnight. LIRR officials said the Tuesday morning rush hour will still have some canceled and delayed trains, and crews were working through the night to make repairs.

The derailment happened shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, when the first car on a Hempstead-bound train carrying more than 300 people came off the tracks as it was entering an East River tunnel.

"Shook a little, next thing you know, it came to a complete stop. You could tell something had happened," said a man who sat in the rear car of the train. "One man came running through front the front saying he was in the front car and it derailed and the train was sideways."

Police taped off the entrances and exits to the platform, as the train had not even completely left Penn Station.

The first couple cars of the train lost air conditioning but no passengers were injured.

"One person refused medical attention, she thought she had difficulty breathing," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Jack Mooney. "But she refused medical attention."

Most of the passengers were led onto a rescue train that was brought from Sunnyside yards, which brought them to the Queens railyard before they could return to Penn and take another train home.

An unknown number of people escaped through the rear car, according to fire officials. Authorities warn passengers against leaving a derailed train on their own, as the tracks could be electrified.

First responders set up a command center on 31st Street and a triage station on Seventh Avenue. The derailed train blocked two of four East River tunnels, stopping west-bound LIRR train traffic into Penn completely and delaying LIRR and Amtrak trains throughout Monday night.

By 11 p.m. Monday, there was some limited east-bound service to Woodside, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma lines, according to LIRR officials.

A Babylon line train arriving at 11:26 p.m. was expected to have been the first west-bound train to arrive at Penn since the derailment.

Riders on all other lines were advised to take the 2 or 3 subway line from Penn Station to Atlantic Terminal to get east-bound service.

LIRR fares were being cross-honored on the E subway station at Jamaica and the 7 subway station at Woodside, according to MTA officials.

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains also experienced extensive delays Monday night.

For the latest service updates, visit

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