Threatened by Earl, LIRR cancels East End serviceBy
Just five days after restoring full service past Jamaica, the Long Island Rail Road is again canceling trains. This time, though, the cause for the service changes is a hurricane bearing down on Long Island. Nature is a fickle beast, and service to the East End of the Island will pay because of it.
According to the MTA’s service advisory, “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.” The agency summarizes the changes:
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.
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.
Those commuting from stations east of Speonk and Ronkonkoma will not have LIRR service on Friday morning. These cancellations could become potential problems for people who need to evacuate the Island by heading west. Roads will grow clogged, and the pace slow.
Earl, currently a hurricane, is expected to reach Long Island on Friday and should be a Tropical Storm by the time it does so. Still, the LIRR will not have a service update until late Friday night and will work to restore trains by Saturday morning. Depending up on the damage sustained though, it could take up to eight hours to reactivate the line after the storm passes. If Earl knocks out trees or power lines, service could of course be suspended for longer.