NY: LIRR to Add Extra Trains to Accommodate Commuters

Jan. 21--The Long Island Rail Road will add extra trains Tuesday afternoon to accommodate commuters going home early because of the snowstorm.

LIRR spokesman Sal Arena said the LIRR will add service "as needed," and did not have specifics on branches or schedules. He said, when the LIRR adds service to accommodate early commuters, the extra trains usually begin running around 2 p.m.

Arena said the LIRR had surveyed major Manhattan employers and found that most were not dismissing their workers early. The railroad also performed a "head count" at Penn Station Tuesday morning and determined that ridership was down by about eight percent.

With snowfall accumulations expected to reach as much as 14 inches in parts of Suffolk, Arena warned that the LIRR may look to "curtail or shut down" service on some or all branches to protect riders and employees. But, Arena said, he expected the LIRR would be running Wednesday morning.

"There will, no doubt, be all the usual kinds of weather related delays," Arena said.

Arena said the LIRR's recently bolstered fleet of snow fighting equipment is "primed and ready to go," including its 80-ton, $1.5 million new snowplow and spreading machine nicknamed Darth Vader. The machine, which is yet to be deployed in the snow, would primarily be used to tackle deep snowdrifts on the East End.

The LIRR is warning its riders to take extra precautions on station stairs and platforms, and to allow more time for their trips. The railroad is also leaving station waiting rooms open round-the-clock through Friday, to give customers shelter from the snow and cold temperatures.

The Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE Bus, also told its riders to expect delays and possible detours, especially on the North Shore, as road conditions worsen during the storm. NICE is working closely with the Nassau Office of Emergency Management, and has also positioned supervisors at locations throughout the county to advise dispatchers of potential trouble spots for buses, spokesman Andrew Kraus said. Nassau bus riders should visit www.nicebus.org or follow NICE on social media for updates.

All Suffolk County Transit bus routes will be suspended effective at 6 p.m. "with the exception of bus route S-92 which will operate its last run from East Hampton to Orient Point" at 5:10 p.m. and Orient Point to East Hampton at 3:35 p.m., Suffolk officials said. The service will resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Several routes were running up to 30 minutes late, and some were traveling on special "snow routes" that may bypass key stops. Customers were advised to visit www.sct-bus.org or call 631-852-5200 for service updates.

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