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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Limited service on Long Beach LIRR branch
(Page 2 of 2)
Niko Krommydas/Herald
The Long Beach LIRR station sat abandoned before trains started running on a limited schedule.

The LIRR announced on Tuesday that it will restore limited weekday service to the Long Beach branch, running trains from Long Beach to Lynbrook with stops in between. The line still does not have power, so the LIRR will be running diesel trains to make all stops on the branch.

The modified service will run between 4:58 a.m. and 8:58 p.m. on weekdays. Trains will run hourly in the peak periods with direct platform connections (in prevailing direction only) at Lynbrook and will run every two hours during the off-peak period. During off-peak periods, customers may have to wait at Lynbrook for up to 15 minutes for connecting service.

Train service will not run on weekends or holidays, including Thanksgiving. Instead, bus service will be provided at each station between Long Beach and Lynbrook.

Normal fares will be charged during the limited run. However, since some stations and ticket machines still do not have power, riders will be charged the station ticket price on the train.

Brooke Filosa, 27, a resident of Oceanside and daily commuter, expressed her concern about the LIRR’s vague recovery timetable.

“It’s a frustrating time for us on the Long Beach line, especially when we have no idea how long it will take to repair,” said Filosa, who has traveled on the Port Washington and Babylon branches in the interim. “I’m trying to remain optimistic and look forward to the restoration and getting back to normal.”

As railroad crews continue to assess and repair damage, some progress toward commuter normalcy has occurred. A free bus service between Lynbrook and Island Park was introduced and extended to Long Beach on Friday, also offering stops at Oceanside, East Rockaway and Centre Avenue. The Long Beach station’s waiting room was also opened as a comfort station for residents, providing heat, water, restrooms and power strips for charging electronics. Calderone is “extremely aware” of the prolonged inconvenience for riders, and hopes full restoration is next.

“For right now, we don’t have a firm date, but we’re hoping to have a better sense soon,” Calderone said. “Long Beach and its surrounding communities have suffered enough, so getting service back is our main priority.”

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