LIRR
LIRR riders arrive in Long Beach (Photo by Joe Abate)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for Long Island Rail Road’s so-called Summer of Hell.

Amtrak completed its emergency track repairs in Penn Station that reduced the amount of rush hour trains the LIRR was able to run for the past two months by up to 20 percent.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had deployed busses, ferries, extra train cars, introduced cashless tolling on major crossings and offered reduced fares and free Subway transfers for LIRR riders to mitigate the congestion. The temporary bus and ferry service ends Friday.

“We said this summer had the potential be the ‘summer of hell,'” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “It did. It was prevented by the preparation, communication, and execution of our mitigation plan and the LIRR saw its best on-time performance of the year during these months – standards of service they must uphold year-round.”

The MTA said the LIRR schedule will return to normal with all of if the tracks in the nation’s busiest train hub back up and running on Tuesday, when commuters return to work after the Labor Day weekend.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.