Question of the Day: LIRR Delays?

A lightning strike at Jamaica caused havoc for commuters; is this any way to run a railroad?

Long Island Rail Road commuters traveling east on Thursday coped with major evening delays, caused by a . 

How was your commute? Were you affected by the delays?

What time did you finally get home?

And is this any way to run a railroad that is relied upon by tens of thousands of people each day?

Andrea September 30, 2011 at 06:28 PM
I think everyone was probably in a similar boat but let's see.... I left work at 5 and headed to Hunters Point, knowing Penn would be a mob scene since they already announced the suspension. We hung out til about 6:45 when they said they could move trains - I jumped on whatever train would get me closest to Huntington - no way was I going to transfer at Jamaica - turns out that was the 4:44 to Patchogue which stops at Hicksville (yes, it left at 6:45). Aside from it being a long trip - it wasn't terrible EXCEPT: 1, At Jamaica there was obviously no communication and no one getting on trains had a clue where any train was going. And the doors were left open so long that the train was packed to a dangerous capacity (people squished down aisles) 2, At every station we stopped at, the communication systems were completely inept. How difficult could it have been to put a real live person on the system to announce what trains were coming? At Hicksville, screens were saying everything from on time, to canceled to delayed X number of minutes - none of which was correct. At one point they even announced there wasn't another train going to Ronkonkoma for about 2 hours - and then one showed up ten minutes later - but people had already started calling for rides. How difficult could an emergency communication system be to get functioning? There were few trains operating anyway - couldn't be too difficult to get someone to just announce basic information so we could make decisions.
Andrea September 30, 2011 at 06:33 PM
To summarize - my commute took about 4 hours (usually it is about 1) - but I fared better than some who were later and ended up stranded in Jamaica. This railroad is run very poorly - and it isn't because of unforeseen events - it is the sheer lack of communication. If all the trains are stopped - well, don't they then have a whole lot of conductors and staff with some extra time on their hands? Put a live person on the radio and let people know what is going on and what to expect so that we can make decisions for ourselves instead of feeling helpless! If you can't get the trains moving, say so - and turn off the automated machines that somehow are still saying things like the blah blah blah to blah blah blah is operating on time! People laugh - and then go nuts. Those signs are complete garbage on anything less than a completely normal day without incident.


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