2007_03_lirrtrain.JPGThe MTA released some St. Patrick's Day rules for the Long Island Railroad: "In an effort to maintain orderly travel for our customers attending the St. Patrick's Day Parade, alcoholic beverages will not be permitted." Newsday reports that alcohol will be banned all Saturday (March 17) and early Sunday and that any alcoholic beverages will be confiscated. Given that there doesn't seem to be a fine or penalty attached to having alcoholic beverages, we bet people will still try to sneak it in. We wonder if the MTA will be making sure more LIRR are on duty to enforce this.

However, it's unclear whether Metro-North trains will be subject to this ban. Does the MTA think people on the LIRR are bigger drunks? Or are Metro-North riders not fans of the St. Patty's Day parade? The MTA is reviewing its alcohol sales-policy in the wake of the death of Natalie Smead, who fell through the LIRR platform gap. The MTA claimed they weren't responsible for her death because she was drunk, but does the MTA really care about underage drinking?

The big St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 11AM this Saturday at Fifth Avenue and 48th Street. Former Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn is the Grand Marshal, and we expect to see lots of politicians there - except for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. She will be marching in Dublin because her own city's parade doesn't allow gays.

Photograph of LIRR train car by mcmost1 on Flickr