NYC commuter rail service restored following fire

Railroad still assessing damage to remaining tracks, impact on evening rush hour


Associated Press
September 20, 2010 10:42PM (UTC)

Commuter train service to New York City's northern suburbs has resumed following a fire underneath a bridge.

The railroad is reporting scattered delays of up to 15 minutes.

The fire occurred Monday beneath the 138th Street lift bridge. Train service was suspended at 11:45 a.m. The fire was declared under control around 1:30 p.m.

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Two of the four tracks on the bridge have been restored.

The railroad says it is still assessing damage on the remaining tracks and the impact, if any, on the evening rush-hour.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A large fire under a bridge sent billowing smoke over New York and shut down commuter rail service between Manhattan and the northern suburbs on Monday, leaving evening rush-hour service in doubt for some 135,000 commuters.

No injuries were reported.

Television images showed pilings on fire in the Harlem River under the 138th Street lift bridge and FDNY marine units hitting the fire with water. Huge orange flames were visible, and plumes of white and black smoke billowed over the river and East Harlem.

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The fire began shortly before noon and was declared under control around 1:30 p.m. The Fire Department said the cause was not immediately known.

A railroad spokeswoman, Marjorie Anders, said it could take hours to inspect the bridge for damage.

Riders leaving the city were taking the subway to the Yankee Stadium area for connections north; several subway alternatives were available for southbound commuters.

Suburban commuters have had a tough go of it recently. The Long Island Rail Road suffered a week of service disruptions following an Aug. 23 fire in Jamaica, Queens, that damaged a switching system. On Thursday evening, a storm left downed trees on the tracks, causing LIRR suspensions.

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Associated Press

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