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New York commuter rail service restored after fire

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fire underneath New York City's Harlem River bridge temporarily cut off commuter train service into and out of Grand Central Terminal on Monday, officials said.

Rail service was largely restored for the afternoon commute but delays were possible, transit authorities said.

Initial reports suggested it was caused by an electrical transformer, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management said. No one was injured and the cause was still being investigated, a fire department spokesman said.

A thick plume of smoke rose from the Harlem River bridge connecting Manhattan and the Bronx at 138th Street, suspending service for about four hours on the Metro-North railroad that serves commuters north of the city.

The fire, which broke out shortly before noon, consumed piers below the bridge and lasted two hours before being extinguished. It took place about 5 miles north of the United Nations, which was celebrating its annual General Assembly.

"Normal p.m. rush service is expected this evening on all three lines, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven," the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates Metro-North, said in a statement.

"It appears that the signals and power are unaffected, which is good news," MTA Chairman Jay Walder told reporters.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Joan Gralla; Editing by Eric Beech)

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