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Penn station Closed

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  • Penn station Closed

    I was in Queens today, had originally expected to leave at 5pm , left early glad I did...

    " Amid a roaring nor'easter, the Long Island Rail Road temporarily suspended service systemwide around 6:30 p.m., citing "multiple weather-related problems," and closed Penn Station a few minutes later, the railroad said.

    But LIRR Customer Service Vice President Joe Calderone said just after 7:30 p.m. on News 12 Long Island that trains were moving east of Jamaica, except on the Hempstead branch. "That's a good sign," he said.

    But there are 60 minute residual delays, he said. There are also switching problems with Amtrak and on the LIRR near Jamaica station, through which ten of the LIRR's 11 lines pass.

    "We have numerous reports of wires down in many locations," Calderone. "Certainly this is all weather-related."

    "The safest thing to do is what we're doing, to keep people at Penn station . . . you don't want to put people out in an unsafe situation," he said.

    Calderone said he knew of no stranded trains on the tracks.

    The storm began taking its toll on the LIRR Wednesday night just as the evening commute got under way, quickly overwhelming an already fragile railroad barely recovering from superstorm Sandy.

    Initially, the railroad reported "weather-related signal problems" and a downed tree across the train tracks that had forced the LIRR to suspend all service on the Port Washington branch just after 6 p.m. Wednesday. In addition, a utility pole came down on that same line, with sparking wires descending on the tracks.

    There were also signal problems on the Ronkonkoma line, which reported delays of up to 72 minutes Wednesday night.

    Then, shortly before 7 p.m., LIRR riders' commute was interrupted when all lines ground to halt and flashing lights on platforms said "no passengers," further frustrating Long Islanders who are still reeling from the effects of Sandy."