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LIRR: Fire Causes Long Island Rail Road Delay

10 out of 11 branches out of service; delays will continue into rush hour

A fire in the Jamaica switching tower has shut down almost all trains in both directions on the Long Island Rail Road Monday, stranding thousands of commuters.

Christophe Mazuel makes a phone call while lying on the floor in New York's Penn Station after his train to Southampton was canceled, Monday, Aug. 23, 2010. A fire in a switching tower near the Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica station has halted all eastbound and westbound service on 10 of the railroad's 11 branches. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

With rush hour looming, LIRR President Helena Williams said the railroad would provide about 60 percent of its normal evening service Monday. The railroad is bypassing Jamaica, but trains are leaving Brooklyn and Penn Station.


LIRR spokesman Mike Charles said there are questions about Tuesday’s commute.

“It’s not an easy repair, and it may take more than overnight to fix it,” he said.

Riders are being offered the option of using New York City subways and buses with their LIRR tickets.

[popup url=""]Click here to view more photos from the LIRR delays[/popup]

Long Island Rail Road spokesman Sal Arena said officials are investigating the impact of the fire at Jamaica Station, which occurred around 11 a.m.  The fire has rendered 10 out of 11 branches without power. The Port Washington line remains the only line currently still operating because it does not run through Jamaica.

The LIRR is the nation’s largest commuter railroad, serving about 265,000 riders daily.

And commuters–if you think you have it bad, think again. At least you’re not on the Beijing-Tibet expressway right now.

With The Associated Press

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