Amtrak continues repairs in one East River Tunnel; expects to replace signal system to another by next week.
The Long Island Rail Road has now resumed full restoration of morning
and evening rush-hour service, after weeks of cancelled, combined
trains and overcrowding following superstorm Sandy.
According to the MTA
, this change in service is a result of Amtrak restoring the signal system capacity
in one of its two flood-damaged East River tunnels.
"Amtrak is continuing their work to replace the damaged signal
system in the other remaining tunnel to restore full train capacity to
their East River tunnels," according to the MTA. "LIRR signal workers
are assisting Amtrak in that effort by rewiring one of Amtrak's five
new signal cases for the tunnels."
This will mark the first full service rush hour since Sandy hit six weeks ago. Near-normal service
was restored on Nov. 26, following partial restoration of service on the badly damaged Long Beach branch
The second tunnel signal system is expected to be restored to full capacity in time for the Christmas holiday.
“This is a real holiday present for commuters in a busy travel season,”
Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council Chair Mark Epstein said.
“Throughout this ordeal, the LIRR Commuters Council has had three goals:
Better and quicker Communication, Cooperation, and Conclusion. Since
our call for same, we have seen Amtrak reach out and enlist the help and
cooperation of the LIRR. That has resulted in the announcement of a
quicker conclusion to the restoration of service."
LIRR customers complained on Patch
sites about the partially-restored service, which resulted in longer commutes and overcrowding
In a letter to the editor
to Patch, Rena Barnett of Rockville Centre discussed the conditions on
the Babylon line, saying it was "standing-room-only on the morning and
evening rush hour trains."
She wrote, "The new LIRR trains were not designed to accommodate
people standing up and there are insufficient handholds. When people
are in the aisles, the trains become only something short of a death
trap as there is no easy ingress or egress."
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