From the NY Times:
The Long Island Rail Road — coming off a biblically bad two-month run of service disruptions involving a hurricane, a tornado and a fire – is now taking matters into its own hands, voluntarily canceling most of its trains on two weekends in October and November.
The railroad is replacing the antiquated signaling system that caught fire in August, knocking out nearly the entire train network, and transit officials say the installation of a modern computerized system means that nearly no trains can travel through the hub at Jamaica, Queens.
On Oct. 23 and 24 and Nov. 6 and 7, only three trains per hour will travel to or from Pennsylvania Station. Riders are encouraged to add up to 70 minutes of travel time to their schedules. And, if the point were not quite clear, officials are instructing customers to “use L.I.R.R. for essential business travel only.” (No word on whether conductors will check for ties or briefcases.)
No trains will run between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, and diesel service to Hempstead, Far Rockaway and Port Jefferson will operate once every two hours. And no bicycles will be allowed on trains.
The railroad describes the disruptions as necessary short-term pain for long-term improvements to service. The computerized system is considered far less fragile than the 1930s-era lever-and-pulley contraption it will replace.
Photo from KTransit