LIRR again cancels 10 morning-rush trains after derailment

The Long Island Rail Road has again canceled 10 morning-rush trains -- this time for Thursday -- as crews continue to work on tracks that were damaged in Monday's NJ Transit derailment.

The LIRR says those 10 train cancellations will be between 6 and 10 a.m. Three trains will terminate at Jamaica, and one will divert to Hunterspoint Avenue, Queens. New York City Transit will still be cross-honoring LIRR tickets at those two points, in addition to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

The LIRR says it expects more cancellations and delays perhaps through the end of the week. A full list of service changes can be found on News 12's transit page.

For Wednesday evening, the LIRR canceled 17 evening-rush trains from Penn Station and eight more were diverted to other stations.

The derailment damaged the track, switches and signals that the LIRR uses, forcing the cancellations and trains to be diverted to other stations. Amtrak, NJ Transit and the LIRR are limited to just eight of 21 tracks at Penn Station. It was the second time in as many weeks that a derailment disrupted the LIRR schedule.

Wednesday marked a third day of headaches and discontent for LIRR commuters.

"I think they could have done a little bit better in diverting some of the trains to Hunterspoint or to Brooklyn or to Jamaica. They have taken the easy way out by canceling a lot of trains," says one commuter.

The MTA pointed the blame Wednesday at Amtrak, the owner of Penn Station, for the train troubles.

"The increasing frequency of these failures leaves the clear impression that Amtrak is not aggressively maintaining its track, switches and related equipment at Penn Station and that repairs have not happened as swiftly as needed," the MTA said in a letter to Amtrak.

The MTA went on to request a formal meeting with Amtrak saying, "The current state of affairs is simply unacceptable."

Suffolk MTA Board member Mitch Pally says it's time Amtrak gave up control of Penn Station to the LIRR.

"We should own all of it, that way we are responsible for it," he told News 12.

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