Message To Our Customers
We apologize to our customers, many of whom experienced significant delays on the morning of Wednesday, November 19th. We know that system-wide delays of up to 2 hours caused difficulty, confusion and aggravation for many of you.
The delay was caused when a Babylon Branch train and a Port Jefferson Branch train traveling at under 15 mph sideswiped each other just west of Jamaica Station, due to a train possibly going through a stop signal. The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.
With approximately 1,000 customers from both trains requiring evacuation, we halted train traffic for about one hour. Four cars of the Babylon train and one car of the Port Jefferson train were damaged during the accident, and will be repaired. MTA Police and the New York City Fire Department professionally aided our personnel in evacuating the trains and attending to customers. The LIRR was then able to resume train traffic between Jamaica and Penn Station. In the interim, MTA NYC Transit honored LIRR tickets on the E, J and Z subway lines.
We made our best effort to communicate delays to our customers. Customer email alerts were sent, station and train announcements were made and traffic reporting agencies were updated every 20 minutes. Although the news was not good, and probably frustrating to those caught in the delay, we strove to make the situation as clear as we could.
In the past 48 hours, the LIRR has been investigating the accident and assessing our response including directions given to customers, informational updates and overall communication. The LIRR sent out 10 e-mail alerts to update customers throughout the service disruption. In the very near future, the MTA will introduce a more robust, high-capacity e-mail and text messaging alert system for the LIRR and all MTA agencies.
We promise to do everything possible to provide safe, reliable service to our nearly 300,000 daily customers. Again, we apologize and will redouble our efforts to avoid disruptions to your daily commute. And we thank you for choosing to ride the LIRR.
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