By Mark Hallum
The MTA announced the restoration of one of the two main-line tracks on the Long Island Rail Road LIRR’s Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and Oyster Bay Branches near New Hyde Park following a collision that derailed the passenger train late Saturday. Although crews worked around the clock to have the trains operating in time for the Monday morning commute, traffic was expected to be slow until both tracks were fully operational.
The incident occurred at around 9:10 p.m. Saturday as a passenger train carrying approximately 600 passengers derailed, injuring about 29 people, 11 of whom were hospitalized, with no fatalities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The cause of the accident was due to a work train on one track overlapping into the clearance area of the passenger train. The LIRR sideswiped the work train spattering yellow paint down the side, he said.
It is not yet clear why the work train was in the way of the train on the opposite track, Cuomo said, but the investigation was ongoing.
“After working around the clock, the dedicated staff at the MTA and LIRR have successfully prepared one main line track for Monday’s morning rush hour,” Cuomo said. “Commuters should be aware that as work continues to ready the second track and restore full service, the potential for delays does exist.”
Commuters were advised by the MTA to use the Babylon, Hempstead, Port Washington and Montauk lines to avoid 20- to 30-minute delays and crowding.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall