Nightmare Commute This Morning

Thousands of rider had a nightmare commute this morning to begin the work week as delays occurred on 8 lines due to frozen pipes causing water to spill on to the tracks at the W. 4th St.-Washington Square station.

I spoke with a few friends this morning who expressed how many stations had people literally pinned against each other due to the overcrowding. Unfortunately delays like these are prone to happen during such cold weather. Thankfully order has been restored and the evening commute should be normal.

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LIRR Accident & Service Update

As you most likely know by now, the MTA Long Island Rail Road had an accident earlier this morning when a Far Rockaway train derailed at Atlantic Terminal. Here is the latest accident & service update:

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast provided media with an update on this morning’s LIRR derailment at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., LIRR Train No. 2817, scheduled to depart from Far Rockaway at 7:18 a.m. and due into Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, at 8:11 a.m., made contact with the bumping block at Track 6 at Atlantic Terminal. The train was six cars long and carrying approximately 430 passengers. As a result of the impact, the lead wheel assembly derailed as did one additional axle. There were a number of customers injured; none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The cause of the incident is under investigation. The MTA has been in contact with the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board is en route.

Atlantic Terminal has six tracks and three platforms. There have been no delays this morning as result of the incident, and no delays are expected during p.m. rush hour service.

Below is a rush transcript of a press conference held this morning at the site by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast.

Audio is available here.

A rush transcript is available below:

Chairman Prendergast: A rundown of the facts as we know them. We had a far Rockaway train entering the Brooklyn terminal, Atlantic terminal this morning. As the train approached the bumping block, went up and over the bumping block, the lead truck was derailed, and one other axel was derailed. We had a number of people injured on the train. They’re all being transported to hospitals or released. The facts of the matter as we have them right now. The incident is it is still under investigation, as we always say. We need to make sure we determine what happened, and why it happened, so the matter is still under investigation.

Governor Cuomo: As you heard from the chairman, from the appearance of the accident. The train came in and hit the so called bumping block, the block at the far end, and went by it for a few feet. First concern is the people who were on the train. There were a number of minor injuries.

We believe the worst injury at this time that we’ve heard of is a possible broken leg. So that one we are monitoring at this time in terms of injuries. A broken leg is not good, but we been through situations where we’ve had worse. We’ll keep an eye on that. What happened with the operator? We don’t know and obviously there will be an investigation to find out exactly what happened and why the operator didn’t stop the train before it hit the bumping block. But that’s where we are at this time.

The response to the accident was fantastic and I want to thank all the first responders. The MTA, the NYPD, the Fire Department — they really did a great job of getting on site. Most of the injuries were people who just walked and left the train. That’s why the number of people who are injured is hard to pinpoint because most of the people just walked off the train they were minor injuries.

Basically what happened is they were standing getting ready to get off the train, the train has a sudden stop, they’re not prepared for a sudden stop. They get knocked around, banged around, they hurt an arm they hurt a leg et cetera and that’s what we’re referring to as a minor injury and that’s why that number is hard to pinpoint. The most significant injury is a possible broken leg — that’s a woman who is being transported to the hospital and we’ll see how that goes during the course of the day.

Reporter: Any indication of the speed of the train?

Chairman Prendergast: It’s too early to tell. Obviously the train is supposed to stop short of the bumping block. It did not do that. So that’s one of the things we’ll look at. It’s one of the factors that we will look at in the investigation.

Reporter: Is there any damage done to the station?

Chairman Prendergast: There’s some damage done to some partition panels. The bumping block, obviously. Things of that nature. We should be OK for the afternoon rush hour. We expect to have normal service out of here, because we have five tracks. And we do not anticipate any delays for this afternoon’s rush hour.

Reporter: Tom, as a general matter… the Hoboken incident a few weeks ago, is there anything infrastructure wise that’s contributing to the increase in derailments? Or is this something that just happens occasionally?

Chairman Prendergast: It’s too early to tell. And we really need to let the investigation lead us to where we need to be. But obviously the train’s supposed to stop short of the bumping block.

Reporter: Has anyone been able to interview the train operator?

Chairman Prendergast: They’re being held and they will be interviewed as part of the — the locomotive engineer, the conductor and the brakeman will all be interviewed.

Governor Cuomo: In terms of the infrastructure, as the Chairman said, it’s fairly simple. The track ends in the terminal. There’s a bumping block at the end of the terminal. The train has to stop before it hits the bumping block. And the bumping block is just there as a precaution. Hoboken was a much worse situation. I was in Hoboken. And obviously it was worse, not just in terms injuries, we had a loss of life in Hoboken. But there was extensive damage in Hoboken and that train was coming in much faster, did much more damage, hurt many more people. This is minor compared to what happened in Hoboken. But the same question-why did the operator not stop the train before it hit the block?

Reporter: Are there any safeguards on the train to keep it from hitting the bumping block, or do you rely on the operator to hit the brakes before you get there?

Chairman Prendergast: Once you’re at that point and you’re at that speed it’s primarily the locomotive engineer’s responsibility to control the train. There’s a signal system that controls it coming in at limited speeds. But when you’re getting to the end it’s the locomotive engineer’s responsibility. And the train’s brakes have to work. All those things have to be looked at in the investigation.

Reporter: Is the NTSB investigating this? Is the NTSB going to be investigating this accident?

Chairman Prendergast: We haven’t heard from them yet, but the FRA administration was notified.

Reporter: What speed was the train supposed to be going before it hits that block?

Tom Prendergast: I don’t know the exact speed. But there’s a book of rules speed. Probably less than 15 or 10 miles an hour. … These are standard rules that railroads live by.

Reporter: Cameras? Inward facing cameras?

Tom Prendergast: We’re installing them, but I don’t know if the entire fleet has them. I don’t know if this car had them.

Reporter: When did the train leave?

Tom Prendergast: I don’t know the interval because the Far Rockaway train comes in from Far Rockaway and into Atlantic Yards.

Reporter: How many cars derailed?

Tom Prendergast: One truck and one axel. That is all that derailed.

Governor Cuomo: Derailment is actually somewhat of a misnomer here. It’s not that it derailed. The train hit the bumping block and when it hit the bumping block, the bumping block basically knocked it off the tracks, so it wasn’t a derailment. It was a train that didn’t stop when it was supposed to, hit the bumping block at a fairly low rate of speed.

The Chairman is obviously correct – we don’t know what the rate of speed is, but it was a fairly low rate of speed. It hit the block, and it was actually the bottom assembly, the truck assembly came off when it hit the block, so it wasn’t really a derailment. There are accidents that happen, right? This is a very large system, you are operating literally hundreds and hundreds of trains every morning with thousands and thousands of people. Accidents happen.

We have been through a number of them over the past few years. Many of them frankly, we were not this lucky. This is a relatively minor accident, luckily. And we’ll check on the woman who we think may have had a broken leg on her, we wish her the best and we will check on her later.

But as all things considered, this is a relatively minor accident and as the Chairman said, service will be up and running this afternoon, which is a good thing. And again, I can’t tell you how extraordinary the first responders are. And the MTA police, the MTA responders, the New York Police Department, the FDNY, they really did a magnificent job. And all New Yorkers owe them a debt of gratitude. Thank you very much.

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Merry Christmas!!!!

I would like to wish each & every single reader of Transit Blogger a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! I hope you have an amazing day with whomever you are spending the day with!

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NYC Transit Christmas 2016 Service Plan

Here is the Christmas 2016 service plan for MTA NYC Transit:

Also for holiday travelers, as part of the Port Authority’s measures to alleviate roadway congestion at LaGuardia Airport during the Peak Holiday Travel Rush, the MTA’s LaGuardia Link Q70 Select Bus Service will be fare free on Thursday, December 22, and Friday, December 23. The LaGuardia Link provides non-stop service linking the main terminals of the airport (Terminals B, C and D) with New York City Subway hub at Jackson Heights (with connections to the 7, E, F, M & R lines) and the Long Island Rail Road hub in Woodside, Queens.

Saturday, December 24

The New York City Subway and Staten Island Railway will operate on a Saturday schedule.

New York City buses will operate on Saturday schedules with minor timing changes.

Sunday, December 25

New York City subways will operate on a Sunday schedule, and buses will operate on a Holiday schedule.

Monday, December 26

The New York City Subway & New York City Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule.

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LIRR Christmas 2016 Service Info

Here is the Christmas 2016 service info for the MTA Long Island Rail Road:

MTA Long Island Rail Road is adding 13 trains to its regular eastbound afternoon schedule from Penn Station on Friday, December 23, to accommodate the large number of customers leaving work early to get a head start on their holiday weekend. The additional service from Penn Station will be provided between 12:43 p.m. and 3:41 p.m. on the Ronkonkoma, Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Far Rockaway branches. The added trains are as follow:

Ronkonkoma Branch (2 Extra Trains)

12:42 p.m. stopping at Woodside, Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville, then local stops to Ronkonkoma

1:49 p.m. stopping at Woodside, Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville, then local stops to Ronkonkoma

Babylon Branch (6 Extra Trains)

1:28 p.m. traveling express to Rockville Centre, then local to Babylon

1:56 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then local to Babylon

2:19 p.m. traveling express to Rockville Centre, then local to Babylon

2:32 p.m. traveling express to Lynbrook, then local to Babylon

3:00 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then local to Babylon

3:31 p.m. traveling express to Rockville Centre, then local to Babylon

Port Jefferson Branch (3 Extra Trains)

2:08 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, then local to Huntington

2:29 p.m. stopping at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, then local to Huntington

3:24 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Westbury and Hicksville

Port Washington Branch (1 Extra Train)

3:40 p.m. stopping Woodside, Flushing‐Main St., then all stops to Great Neck

Far Rockaway Branch (1 Extra Train)

3:48 p.m. stopping at Locust Manor, Laurelton, Rosedale, Valley Stream, then all stops to Far Rockaway

Saturday & Sunday, December 24‐25

On Saturday, December 24, and Sunday, December 25, the LIRR will operate on a regular weekend/holiday schedule.

Reminder: Extra Holiday Service on Weekends through New Year’s Day

As noted in timetables, the LIRR is running four extra westbound trains and six extra eastbound trains on weekends during the holiday season through New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1. The trains are on the Babylon, Long Beach and Port Jefferson branches.

Discounted Family Fare (Off Peak & PM Peak Only)

The holidays are a great time of year to take advantage of the LIRR’s Family Fare. Up to four children (ages 5‐11) can ride one‐way for $1 each when accompanied by a fare‐paying adult (18 years or older) on any Off‐Peak or PM Peak train. Additional children pay the LIRR’s Child Fare, which is 50% off the regular adult peak fare. Children under age 5 always ride the LIRR for free.

Reminder: New Timetables Now in Effect

New LIRR timetables took effect on December 12 and will be in use through March 5. Please pick up a copy of the new timetable for your branch or see

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