Improvements Promised for LIRR Commuters

Problems have cleared up for most Subway and bus riders in New York City. But commuting on the Long Island Rail Road continues to be a nightmare since the storm.

The reason is that train travel through the East River tunnels has been cut back this month due to work on signals damaged by water during the storm. Amtrak is responsible for the tunnels and the maintenance of systems in the 4 tubes.

Tuesday, the Long Island Commuter Council held a press conference with Congressman Steve Israel. They criticized Amtrak for not communicating with riders and the LIRR. Rep. Israel said he had a conversation earlier in the day with Amtrak’s CEO in which he promised to have the system restored to its regular levels by Christmas week.

“This is good news and it is what we have been advocating for,” says LIRR President Helena Williams. “We look forward to receiving a detailed installation plan from Amtrak to confirm exactly when each tunnel's signal system will be restored to full service.”

The Long Island Commuter Council reports the system has been operating at 80 percent. More than two dozen trains in the morning and evening rush hour have been cancelled indefinitely since the storm because the tunnels, as they are being worked on, cannot handle the regular level of traffic.