The Long Island Rail Road started replacing trains with buses Friday on the Long Beach Branch, which had service suspended since signals and switches were damaged by salt water in the Superstorm Sandy flooding.
The buses between Long Beach and Lynbrook started running at 6 a.m. Friday but will only continue through 5:30 p.m. because of the Long Beach city curfew that remains in effect in the evenings. Buses run from Lynbrook and Island Park til 9 p.m. The LIRR also opened up its Long Beach waiting room 6 a.m.-4 p.m. daily to offer the public heat, water, bathrooms and a charging station.
The LIRR has been running a modified schedule at about 45 percent of its capacity on the other 10 of its 11 branches because two of the four East River tunnels were damaged by storm surge flooding. Those tunnels are shared by NJ Transit and Amtrack. Tests are underway to get the tunnels back in service.
As a result, off-peak fares have been in effect and on-board ticket purchasing penalties are not being enforced. Long Beach Branch tickets are good for all stations and zones.
LIRR train service was also recently restored between Riverhead and Greenport after crews repaired a Sandy-damaged culvert in Mattituck. Trains are also running again to Montauk, although some crossing gates are running on generators in areas that remain without power.
The LIRR will operate a regular Saturday/Sunday schedule this weekend. For more information visit www.mta.info/lirr or call 511.