In expectation of this winter's biggest snowfall – a National Weather Service blizzard warning has stated up to a foot and a half of snow is possible – the Long Island Rail Road has added train service to the Port Jefferson branch for Friday afternoon, to allow commuters to get home safe and sound before the storm touches down.
The following trains have been added to the line by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority:
- A 1:46 p.m. train from Jamaica, arriving in Port Jefferson at 3:37 p.m.
- A 2:08 p.m. train from Penn Station, arriving in Huntington at 3:09 p.m.
- A 2:29 p.m. train from Penn Station, arriving in Huntington at 3:35 p.m.
- A 3:24 p.m. train from Penn Station, arriving in Hicksville at 4:05 p.m.
If snowfall comes down as weather experts predict it will, train service will likely be severely cut back. The MTA website notes that in the instance of a blizzard or sustained winds over 39 miles per hour (the NWS predicts sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph), "train service will be severely curtailed or suspended, especially if there are frozen switches or there is a loss of third rail power. Icing can have a greater impact on travel conditions than heavy snowfall and can develop very quickly. Train travel is not encouraged."
LIRR officials have an "arsenal of machinery" on hand, they report, with nearly 16,000 gallons of anti-freeze, 200 portable snow blowers, nine front-end and payloaders, and more.
Commuters can sign up for email and text message alerts from the LIRR by visiting www.mtamyalerts.com.