It was business as usual for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) on Monday, Nov. 25. Three days earlier, however, it was complete chaos.
Two rear cars of an LIRR train came off the rails just east of Jamaica station at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. The train was carrying about 400 passengers, but no injuries were reported. Service was back to full speed by Saturday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the derailment. A broken piece of rail was found at the Jamaica station, but officials are not ready to tie it to the accident. The rail was inspected Friday afternoon as part of normal maintenance. The train was en route to Suffolk County.
The New York City Fire Department, the New York City Police Department and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) police all responded to the incident.
Commuters on the derailed train were on board for hours, but emergency responders were on the scene almost immediately and provided water while the accident was being sorted out. The MTA said passengers were taken to Long Island via a rescue train around midnight on Friday.
Passengers complained about the long wait on social media, however, according to LIRR much needed to be done before a rescue train could arrive. LIRR Senior Vice President of Operations Rod Brooks said power had to be de-energized before anything could be done, and at Jamaica station that procedure is more complicated. Once the power was off managers and first responders needed to check out the scene, which then had to be secured. After the scene was secure a method of evacuation had to be determined. MTA Police Captain David Winding said all the passengers were kept informed about the situation throughout the ordeal.
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