LIRR restores full service following collision, derailment
The Long Island Rail Road restored full weekday service in time for the Monday evening rush following the derailment that injured 33 people over the weekend.
Delays were still reported on most lines during peak evening commute times due to switch problems in Mineola and gate problems in New Hyde Park. The railroad says those issues were unrelated to the derailment.
Crews had spent two days working at the derailment site in New Hyde Park, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the restoration of service late Monday afternoon. Limited service had run Monday morning on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branches.
Officials say 25 feet of track was damaged in the derailment, and crews are still working on repairs. Trains are slowing down as they pass through the area.
The collision and derailment happened about a half-mile east of the New Hyde Park station around 9 p.m. Saturday. The 12-car commuter train out of Penn Station was heading eastbound with 600 people on board when authorities say it sideswiped a work train. Four of the 33 people hurt suffered serious injuries, officials say.
The cause of the crash is still unknown. MTA officials say both the work train and the passenger train were moving in the same direction when the two trains swiped each other at a crossover track or a switch.
Sen. Charles Schumer said over the weekend that the cause of the crash was human error, but that has not been confirmed by investigators.
The director of the Railroad Engineering and Safety Program at the University of Delaware agrees that it could have been human error, but says there also might have been something protruding from the work train.
The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating the cause of the crash, but it did not return calls for comment on Monday.