Nor'easter leads to LIRR suspensions, delays

Posted: Updated:
MINEOLA -

The second nor'easter in less than a week prompted the suspensions of six LIRR branches during Wednesday's evening commute, officials said.

The Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Hempstead lines were initially suspended due to weather-related signal trouble, according to authorities. They also blamed suspensions of the Babylon and Montauk lines on fallen utility wires across the tracks.

The LIRR asked travelers to delay their plans during the evening rush -- and a crowd of commuters on the Mineola train platform appeared to give up and leave when the message flashed across the service board there.

The suspensions have since been lifted, but the LIRR was still reporting delays on some lines well into Wednesday night.

Commuters who left early Wednesday afternoon escaped the delays.

"You can never tell with the LIRR," said Kevin Gallagher, a Garden City resident who was trying to get to Queens. "The other day I took a train out of Bethpage, and it was canceled. Then Hicksville, then it got stopped. Then I had to go back."

That was Friday. When the snow intensified in the late afternoon Wednesday, the suspensions were even worse.

Passengers who left work and the city before 3 p.m. said they were both surprised and relieved.

"There were no delays on my line," reported Celeste Roldan of Mineola.

"I didn't want to risk it, because I've had a lot of trouble getting here in the past," said Alyssa Walker, also from Mineola

The LIRR's struggles are nothing new. In January, the LIRR had its worst "on-time" performance in 20 years, prompting the railroad's president to suggest dozens of changes.

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