Derailment on Port Washington LIRR line causes delays

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Derailment on Port Washington LIRR line causes delays
The station for the Port Washington branch of the LIRR (Photo from the MTA)

A derailment on the Port Washington branch of the Long Island Railroad caused numerous cancellations and delays on Wednesday afternoon.

The derailment occurred at approximately 12:45 p.m. in the afternoon when the axles of an eastbound train to Port Washington jumped the tracks at the Harold Interlocking railroad junction near Long Island City in Queens.

LIRR  spokesman Aaron Donovan said an investigation was underway to determine who or what caused the derailment.

Donovan said that there were no reported injuries and the train’s passengers reached the Woodside LIRR station — about a mile and a half away from the derailment — by 1:30 p.m.

Passengers trying to reach Port Washington early Wednesday afternoon were directed to take any train to Woodside and then transfer to a train running between Woodside and Port Washington.

Trains going westbound toward New York City were canceled for most of the afternoon.

Shortly after 5 p.m., the derailed train had been cleared from the track.

The first train to run from Penn Station to the Port Washington Line — although only as far as Great Neck — departed at 5:14 p.m. THe first train to run from Port through to Penn Station departed nine minutes later, at 5:23 p.m.

Wednesday’s derailment is the second for the LIRR in the past two weeks. On July 21, a train that was not in passenger service derailed west of Penn Station as it approached the West Side Yard.

Earlier this year, the MTA staged a low-speed derailment in order to practice for situations such as these. In addition to 40 LIRR employees, 125 first responders took part.

The drill was to prepare the railroad and local authorities for a much more serious accident, such as the January 2017 crash at Atlantic Terminal that left over 100 people injured.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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