LIRR full rush service returns following signal repair

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will operate full morning and evening rush hour service beginning Monday, Dec. 10, as a result of Amtrak restoring the signal system capacity in one of its two flood-damaged East River tunnels.

This will mark the first full service rush hour for the LIRR since Sandy hit six weeks ago.

In replacing the severely-damaged signal system in one of the tunnels, combined with an increase in speed on a loop track connecting the East River tunnels with the Sunnyside storage yard, Amtrak restored sufficient train capacity to allow for the increased levels of service during the LIRR’s rush hour. Amtrak is continuing its work to replace the damaged signal system in the other remaining tunnel to restore full train capacity to the East River tunnels. LIRR signal workers are assisting Amtrak in that effort by rewiring one of Amtrak’s five new signal cases for the tunnels.

The LIRR’s off-peak service continues to operate on a regular schedule throughout the LIRR system, even while one of Amtrak’s damaged tunnels is still at reduced capacity.

“Restoring full LIRR rush hour train service will provide relief to those customers that endured crowded conditions during peak periods due to the loss of tunnel capacity from the flooding effects of Superstorm Sandy,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak in restoring this crucial LIRR service.”

In bringing back one of the two damaged tunnels to full service, Amtrak replaced all the signal system cases, including the parts and all the intricate wiring within the cases that were destroyed by the flood waters. Installing the new signal cases in the tunnel also required new signal control wires to be fitted in the tunnels. Amtrak’s cutover to the new signal system, combined with the speed adjustment to the track connecting the East River tunnels with its Sunnyside storage yard, allows all LIRR rush hour train service to be restored.

In the one remaining flood-damaged tunnel, Amtrak will be installing three new signal cases for the new permanent signal system and the new signal equipment is expected to be installed and tested on the weekend of Dec. 15-16, so that full train capacity in the East River tunnels can be restored by the Christmas holiday.

Categories: C&S, Commuter/Regional, OFF Track Maintenance