The potential damage that could stem from Hurricane Earl is a very serious matter to many including the MTA Long Island Rail Road. Late yesterday, the LIRR announced that due to safety concerns stemming from the storm, they will suspend all service east of Ronkonkoma & Speonk. Here are the complete details courtesy of the press release I received:
MTA Long Island Rail Road will suspend service on Friday to the East End of Long Island for safety reasons as forecasters are calling for Hurricane Earl to bring sustained winds of 40 mph (with gusts of up to 60 mph), heavy rains and possible flooding.
The LIRR will suspend train service east of Speonk on the Montauk Branch and east of Ronkonkoma on the Main Line, which normally takes customers to Greenport and Long Island’s North Fork.
LIRR service west of Ronkonkoma and west of Speonk will operate on a normal schedule. In addition, eight early getaway trains between 2:02 PM and 3:48 PM scheduled from Penn Station heading east on Friday will continue to operate to Babylon, Great Neck, Far Rockaway, Hicksville and Huntington.
These service changes are being made for three reasons:
• Safety of Our Customers: Suspension of service helps to ensure that no customers will be put at risk or stranded due to flooding or fallen trees.
• Protection of Our Equipment and Facilities: The LIRR will be securing 79 grade crossings on the East End in advance of the storm in an effort to avoid damage to crossings gates that can be sustained during high winds. Flooding is also a concern as the LIRR maintains storage yard facilities at both Greenport and Montauk Stations.
• Faster Recovery Time: By securing gates and other equipment in advance, the LIRR anticipates a quicker recovery time from any storm related damage and better service for customers throughout the holiday weekend.
The last eastbound train to Montauk will leave Penn Station at 12:39 AM Friday morning and arrive in Montauk at 3:57 AM. The last train traveling westbound to Penn Station is scheduled to leave Montauk at 5:39 AM and arrive at Penn Station at 8:42 AM.
The last westbound train will leave Greenport at 5:30 AM Friday morning.
LIRR service to the East End will operate as scheduled Thursday afternoon and evening.
Customers who commute to New York City daily from stations east of Speonk and Ronkonkoma should be aware that LIRR service would not be available to bring them home from work on Friday afternoon.
The LIRR will assess any storm related damage late Friday night before deciding on when service can resume on Saturday. The LIRR’s goal is to resume service as soon as possible on Saturday morning, depending on the extent of the storm damage. It may take between 6 and 8 hours to reactivate gates after the storm passes.
Hurricane Earl is presently a Category 4 hurricane situated off the coast of North Carolina with sustained winds of 140 MPH. While forecasters expect the Earl to weaken significantly as it proceeds north, they say the East End should be prepared for Tropical Storm level winds and rain, strong enough to down trees and power lines and cause considerable flooding.
The LIRR will continue to monitor the storm closely and is in close contact with Nassau, Suffolk, New York City and New York State emergency officials.
In any storm situation, the LIRR’s storm safety policy is to begin to limit or suspend service as necessary once winds reach a sustained speed of 39 miles per hour, or what the LIRR calls “Zero Hour.” This policy is designed to ensure the safety of LIRR customers, employees and the Railroad’s equipment and infrastructure, including electric and diesel rolling stock and over 700 miles of track stretching from Manhattan to Montauk.
As a result, the following trains are being canceled on Friday:
Eastbound Friday-only Montauk Trains Canceled – Friday, September 3
• 1:50 PM from Penn Station due to arrive in Montauk at 4:45 PM.
• 3:58 PM from Penn Station due to arrive in Montauk at 6:48 PM.
• 5:09 PM from Penn Station due to arrive at Montauk at 8:29 PM.
• 7:11 PM from Penn Station due to arrive at Montauk at 10:10 PM.
All other regularly scheduled Montauk trains will either terminate or originate at Speonk, as detailed below:
Eastbound regularly scheduled Montauk trains terminating at Speonk – Fri., Sept. 3
• 7:39 AM from Penn Station, due to arrive in Montauk at 10:53 AM will terminate at Speonk at 9:44 AM.
• 11:06 AM from Penn Station, due to arrive in Montauk at 2:19 PM will terminate at Speonk at 1:10 PM.
• 4:15 PM AM from Penn Station, due to arrive in Montauk at 7:35 PM will terminate at Speonk at 6:24 PM.
• 5:51 PM from Penn Station, due to arrive in Montauk at 9:07 PM will terminate at Speonk at 7:55 PM.
• 8:30 PM from Penn Station, due to arrive in Montauk at 11:57 PM will terminate at Speonk at 10:30 PM.
Westbound regularly scheduled Montauk trains originating from Speonk – Fri., Sept. 3
• 11:22 AM from Montauk will originate from Speonk at 12:42 PM, arriving Penn Station at 2:44 PM.
• 2:51 PM from Montauk will originate from Speonk at 4:14 PM, arriving Penn Station at 6:20 PM.
• 10:38 PM from Montauk will originate from Speonk at 12:03 AM, arriving Penn Station at 2:02 AM
I will post any breaking info as I receive it from the agency.
xoxo Transit Blogger