The Long Island Rail Road has cancelled a half-dozen electric trains on the Huntington/Port Jefferson branch, and will terminate seven others at Hicksville during the evening commute due to heavy snow and ice accumulation on the electrified third rail, the LIRR said.
The railroad will instead operate diesel service for riders headed eastbound during the evening commute, the LIRR said. Additionally, nine regularly scheduled diesel trains will make local stops from Hicksville through Port Jefferson.
The inclement weather also prompted officials to suspend westbound train service between Port Jefferson and Hicksville during the evening peak service, the railroad said.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the LIRR said on its website. “However snow and ice accumulations over the electrified third rail prevent the safe operation of electric service.”
“We experienced greater than anticipated accumulations on the Huntington/Port Jeff branch which lead to suspension of service in that area for much of the day,” the LIRR added.
Crews will work to clear snow and ice from the third rail between Hicksville and Huntington after the evening rush, the LIRR said, adding that it hopes to provide normal service during Friday’s morning commute.
The railroad has been experiencing scattered 15 to 20 minute delays systemwide since the morning, due to weather conditions. The delays continued through the afternoon.
Sal Arena, an LIRR spokesman, attributed the delays to trains forced to slow down because of slick tracks.
Service on the Port Jefferson branch was suspended for most of the day after a train carrying 500 people struck an unauthorized vehicle on the tracks between Greenlawn and Huntington at 8:25 a.m. The driver escaped the crash without any serious injuries, Arena said.