MINEOLA - The Long Island Rail Road returned to normal service for Wednesday evening's commute after delays and cancellations left thousands of riders stranded.
Service in and out of Penn Station was suspended earlier in the day due to signal problems caused by a power outage that affected the railroad's signal system. A temporary fix is currently in place, but crews have not yet been able to determine the source of the outage.
At times, the railroad was reporting average delays systemwide of 80-90 minutes, leaving platforms packed with people. The LIRR Commuter Council said communication was a big problem.
"Throughout the system, we heard reports of conductors who didn't know what was going on," said Mark Epstein, of the commuter council. "No idea what alternatives they had or when the next train was coming... That is unacceptable."
An MTA spokesperson said that during Wednesday evening's commute, just 10 of the 140 trains on the tracks were delayed.
LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski said he is cautiously optimistic that trains will be running on time Thursday morning.
"As long as the power holds, there will not be delays," he said. "We expect power will hold, but we operate with redundancy and we have no redundancy right now, so if something goes wrong, we have limited capacity to deal with it.
Commuters took to social media about the delays and cancellations, making the LIRR a top-10 trending topic on Twitter.