LIRR service disrupted after person fatally struck near Woodside, railroad says

The LIRR had widespread disruptions during the morning commute Friday after a train fatally struck a person on the tracks near the Woodside station, the railroad said.

Trains were on or close to schedule with scattered delays at 10 a.m., the Long Island Rail Road said in a service advisory.

The LIRR confirmed that the person had died after being struck shortly before 5 a.m. near Woodside. Police and the city medical examiner were on the scene, the LIRR said.

The railroad restored westbound service to the Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside stations in Queens at about 7:30 a.m. after more than two hours of bypassing the stops.

The railroad had warned of delays, cancellations and diversions during the morning commute as the Woodside area was investigated. Multiple branches had delays and more than a dozen rush-hour trains were canceled. NYC Transit cross-honored tickets for subway transfers.

Riders on the train that struck the person were accommodated by another train, the LIRR said. The railroad did not identify the person or have additional details.

The disruption was the latest in a challenging week for railroad commuters.

The LIRR blamed a disabled Amtrak train just west of Woodside for delays and cancellations during the Wednesday evening rush. And signal trouble near Babylon station caused delays of more than a half-hour and cancellations during the Monday evening commute.

However, statistics show that railroad service has improved over last year, when the railroad was crippled by major service disruptions leading up to Amtrak’s emergency “summer of hell” repairs at Penn Station. After setting a 22-year low point for January of this year, when 83.9 percent of trains were on time, the LIRR has improved its on-time performance in every month as compared to the same month last year.

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Some of those improvements have coincided with the arrival in April of new LIRR president Phillip Eng, who has laid out a multifaceted plan, dubbed LIRR Forward, to address riders’ frustrations, including by upgrading antiquated infrastructure, doing more to prevent weather-related issues and communicating better with customers.


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