Rail and train tracks damaged Tuesday in an East River tunnel fire were repaired this morning in time to accommodate 110,000 commuters at Pennsylvania Station.
Thirty-thousand Long Island Rail Road commuters were stranded in Manhattan when the fire broke out at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in a tunnel under the East River, sending smoke into Penn Station during the height of the evening rush hour. It was extinguished by about 7 p.m.
The LIRR suspended service through the tunnel, one of four used by its trains, at 6:20 p.m., and authorities barred people from entering the station until the smoke began to dissipate.
Some service was restored by 7:05 p.m., and full service was running by 7:45, but the system was experiencing 30-minute delays.
Officials had feared that the damaged tunnel would not be fixed by 6 a.m. today, a critical time for workers entering Manhattan. But the repairs were completed by 5:35.