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Long Island Rail Road back on schedule after derailment

November 24, 2019 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — A derailment on the Long Island Rail Road stranded hundreds of passengers Friday night but on Saturday, trains were running on or close to schedule, railroad officials said.

LIRR officials said the two train cars that derailed at about 9:30 p.m. near the Jamaica station were back on the tracks and workers were repairing the broken rail.

“LIRR and emergency personnel arrived on scene immediately after learning of the incident to ensure the safety of our customers,” said Rod Brooks, the railroad’s senior vice president of operations. “We have been working around the clock to make repairs to the track and regular service has been restored systemwide.”

Brooks said the railroad “will leave no stone unturned” as it investigates the derailment.

Railroad officials said the 10-car eastbound train was traveling at 13 mph (21 kph) when two rear cars went off the rail.

No injuries were reported to the 383 passengers on the train, who waited two hours before they could be removed to an evacuation train. The derailment caused cancellations and delays throughout the system.

Brooks said a 5-foot-long broken rail at the scene was being examined as part of the investigation, but added that it wasn’t clear whether that was “a cause or an effect” of the derailment. All track repairs were expected to be complete in time for the Monday morning rush hour, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Public Transportation Safety Board were notified of the slow speed derailment.

Jamaica is a major hub for the LIRR, the nation’s busiest commuter railroad that carries an average of more than 300,000 riders each weekday.