LIRR weekend track work causes delays
Commuters who boarded Long Island Rail Road trains Saturday faced significant delays after the service was suspended, with buses replacing trains from Jamaica to Mineola and Hempstead.
LIRR officials say the suspension of service was necessary to complete the summer-long Queens Interlocking Project. One of the main goals of the project was to eliminate the "Bellrose bump," in which trains would slow down and rock back and forth.
According to officials, the "Bellrose bump" problem has been solved. The tracks have been straightened out and new switches have been installed. They say the change will make travel faster and smoother.
?The new switches allow the trains to move faster during a crossover, instead of slowing down,? says LIRR President Helena Williams. ?And there was this whole swaying motion.?
Although the track work caused delays that in some cases stretched to hours, some commuters say the LIRR did the right thing.
?They notified people ahead of time, there were signs in Penn Station,? says Marion Moser, of Floral Park. ?And they had schedules for the buses printed up, so I'm prepared.?
The service upgrades will continue through early Monday morning, affecting the Hempstead, Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Oyster Bay branches.