Unless you have been under a rock for almost a day now, you would know that a fire at a major switching tower at Jamaica Station knocked out service on 11 of the 12 Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) branches. Unfortunately I was so busy that I could not post updates on the situation although I tried to keep an eye out on it.
Late yesterday evening, the agency announced that due to the complexity of this incident, it will take at least a few days to be operating at normal service levels. Due to this, a plethora of trains during the AM & PM rush have either been canceled or will face severe scheduling delays. Here are the complete details courtesy of the press release I received:
MTA Long Island Rail Road customers should anticipate significant schedule changes and delays during Tuesday morning and evening rush hours as a result of damage to a major switching tower at Jamaica Station caused by a cable fire on Monday morning.
LIRR crews have been assessing the extent of the damage to the tower’s switching board and they have been working round-the-clock on repairs. However, it is likely to take several days to effect repairs to the tower’s switching machine and wiring. Over two-hundred wires need to be checked for possible damage from the fire.
While it appears that the cause of the cable fire was weather-related, it is still under investigation. Hall Tower is a key signal tower through which trains are switched to appropriate tracks into and out of Jamaica Station. With its electrical signal system disabled, trains can only proceed through Hall using a manual system employed to ensure maximum safety during an emergency such as this.
Tuesday AM Service Plan – August 24:
LIRR service on the Port Washington Branch will operate normally. However, the Tuesday AM Rush service plan includes cancellation of 33 westbound AM rush hour trains, or 25 percent of the 144 trains that normally operate.
As a result, there will be residual delays from added station stops and scheduled connections will not be available at Jamaica Station to Penn Station, Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn, Hunterspoint Avenue, and Long Island City.
Customers will be able to transfer between trains at Jamaica. LIRR station personnel will be available at Jamaica to assist customers with service information. The modified plan also includes service changes for the eastbound AM Rush.
There is no train service between West Hempstead and Valley Stream – bus service will be provided for train service at Valley Stream.
There will be no westbound train service from St. Albans, bus service will be provided between St. Albans and Jamaica
Westbound AM Peak Service Cancellations:
The following westbound AM Rush trains will be canceled in the modified service plan:
The 6:38 AM Huntington train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:36 AM
The 7:12 AM Huntington train due in Penn Station at 8:10 AM
The 7:28 AM Cold Spring Harbor train due in Penn Station at 8:25 AM
The 7:04 AM Ronkonkoma train due in Penn Station at 8:19 AM
The 7:19 AM Ronkonkoma train due in Penn Station at 8:28 AM
The 6:57 AM Farmingdale train due in Penn Station at 7:48 AM
The 6:57 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 7:40 AM
The 7:29 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 8:13 AM
The 8:08 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 8:50 AM
The 8:25 AM Freeport train due in Penn Station at 9:08 AM
The 6:15 AM Babylon train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:27 AM
The 8:16 AM Babylon train due in Penn Station at 9:31 AM
The 8:35 AM Babylon train due in Penn Station at 9:37 AM
The 5:18 AM Wantagh train due in Penn Station at 6:08 AM
The 6:25 AM Hicksville train due in Penn Station at 7:11 AM
The 8:03 AM Long Beach train due in Penn Station at 8:54 AM
The 6:54 AM Long Beach train due in Atlantic Terminal 7:49 AM
The 6:58 AM Hempstead train due in Penn Station at 7:52 AM
The 6:21 AM Hempstead train due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:08 AM
The 8:45 AM Hempstead train due in Atlantic Terminal at 9:34 AM
The 8:03 AM Valley Stream train due in Penn Station at 8:42 AM
The 8:10 AM Far Rockaway train due in Penn Station at 9:05 AM
The 7:18 AM Far Rockaway train due in Atlantic Terminal at 8:11 AM
The 7:12 AM Speonk train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 9:11 AM
The 5:59 AM Port Jefferson train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 7:41 AM
The 6:45 AM Port Jefferson train due in Hunterspoint Ave at 8:30 AM
The 6:29 AM train from Oyster Bay due in Jamaica at 7:24 AM
The 7:41 AM train from Oyster Bay due in Hunterspoint Avenue at 8:55 AM
The 5:37 AM train from West Hempstead due in Valley Stream at 5:52 AM
The 6:53 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 7:41 AM
The 7:16 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 8:03 AM
The 7:36 AM train from West Hempstead due in Penn Station at 8:29 AM
The 8:28 AM train from West Hempstead due in Atlantic Terminal at 9:16 AM
Eastbound (Reverse Peak) Service:
LIRR eastbound, reverse peak service from Atlantic Terminal and Penn Station is expected to operate at regularly scheduled times; however customers should anticipate delays en-route.
There is no eastbound train service from Jamaica to Locust Manor, Laurelton and Rosedale, bus service will be provided.
Tuesday PM Service Plan – August 24:
The LIRR’s modified PM Service Plan for Tuesday – the same as Monday evening’s service – provides about 60% of the LIRR’s regular 120 trains departing Manhattan between 4 PM and 8 PM. Customers are advised to expect canceled trains, delays and no scheduled connections at Jamaica Station.
Regular service will be offered to Port Washington, so customers may want to consider taking that branch if they can make alternate arrangements for the remainder of their trip home.
Aside from the regular Port Washington service, the evening rush hour service from Penn Station will consist of dedicated trains making local stops to Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma/Greenport, Long Beach, Babylon and Montauk.
To avoid overcrowding at Penn Station, MTA Police will carefully regulate the number of people entering the LIRR section of the terminal, allowing customers in as trains become available. Crowding is also a concern at Jamaica.
LIRR is will be offering Hempstead and Far Rockaway-bound trains only from Atlantic Terminal in downtown Brooklyn, which can be reached by subway. There will be no Hempstead and Far Rockaway service from Penn Station.
LIRR customers were also advised of service changes if heading for the following destinations:
• Oyster Bay: Travel to Mineola for connections to all Oyster Bay branch stops.
• West Hempstead: Travel to Valley Stream where buses will be available to take them onto to their home stations.
• Patchogue, Speonk and Montauk: Customers can connect to those trains at Babylon.
LIRR station personnel are available at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station to assist customers with service information. The LIRR appreciates the patience and understanding of our customers.
The LIRR will continue to provide updated Service Advisories as repairs progress. Customers should monitor news media reports and the LIRR’s website (at www.mta.info/lirr) for these updates.
I will keep an eye & post the latest info as I receive it barring any unforeseen interruptions for business.
xoxo Transit Blogger