amtrak

City Living, Design

Photo via Kev Harb on Flickr

After announcing the official end of the “summer of hell” last week, Amtrak said the next thing on their to-do list is to finally fix the disgusting and dilapidated bathrooms at Penn Station. Both men’s and women’s bathrooms at the busiest transit center in the country will be refurbished beginning this fall, as the New York Times reported.

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Transportation

amtrak, penn station, summer of hell

Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station, image via Amtrak

Amtrak announced on Thursday that the eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station predicted to be the “summer of hell” by Governor Cuomo, have officially ended ahead of the scheduled Monday deadline (h/t WNYC). Following a series of train derailments and system failures, Amtrak began repairing and replacing tracks in July. Over 360 workers installed six football fields worth of track and 176 yards of concrete this summer, according to Amtrak. While regular transit operations at Penn Station will resume Sept. 5, more repair work will continue through June 2018, with most of the work taking place on the weekends.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo via Kev Harb via Flickr

The emergency Penn Station repairs that began in July will be completed on time with regular operating service resuming on Sept. 5, Amtrak announced Thursday. After delays and a few train derailments, Amtrak closed 21 tracks at Penn earlier this summer. Nearly seven weeks of the eight scheduled weeks of repair work for this “summer of hell” have been completed thus far.

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Policy, Transportation

Penn Station, Cuomo, MTA

Eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station officially began Monday, affecting commuters using the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Amtrak will close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations, which will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Overall, there will be a 20 percent reduction in the number of trains to Manhattan from NJ and Long Island. To minimize the impact on riders, the MTA has offered discounted fares and transit alternatives like ferry and bus service (h/t NY Times).

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Midtown East, Transportation

grand central terminal, amtrak, intercity rail service

Ahead of repair work set to begin at Penn Station next week, Amtrak said it will reroute some trains each weekday to Grand Central Terminal. For the first time since 1991, passengers will use the iconic Beaux-Arts terminal to reach destinations along the Hudson River Valley, like Rhinecliff, Hudson and Albany. As the New York Times reported, Amtrak will reroute six of their Empire Service trains to Grand Central instead of Penn Station from July 10 to Sept. 1.

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Midtown West, Policy, Transportation

W train, mta service changes, second avenue subway, q train

Image via Alan Bloom/Flickr

Seeking innovative solutions to fix the mess that is the New York City transit system, Governor Cuomo on Tuesday launched a competition called the “MTA Genius Transit Challenge.” Just one of the governor’s recently proposed ideas to fix the subway, the international competition challenges participants to develop ideas for better signaling, new car designs, and WiFi throughout the system, including in tunnels. The winner of each category will receive $1 million and a possible contract deal with the state. In addition to the challenge, Cuomo announced he has created a Penn Station Task Force to devise alternative transportation solutions during Amtrak’s track work at the station this summer.

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Policy, Transportation

Penn Station, Cuomo, MTA

As his administration finalizes its budget plan, Governor Cuomo wrote a letter Sunday to President Trump asking for emergency federal funds to lessen what he called Penn Station’s “summer of agony,” reports the Daily News. With six weeks of infrastructure repairs coming to the transit hub this July and August, the governor said the station’s daily flow of 600,000 passengers will face a 20 percent reduction in service during peak hours while Amtrak shuts down some of its tracks, which will then have a ripple effect on the subway system and regional transit.

More details ahead

Policy, Transportation

grand central terminal, amtrak, intercity rail service

Grand Central Terminal Lobby via Wikipedia

With major infrastructure repairs taking place at Penn Station this summer, state officials have suggested rerouting some Amtrak trains to Grand Central Terminal to ease train congestion. While no plans have been finalized, and it’s still unclear how long the switch would take to begin, crews are already training for the new path down Park Avenue into Grand Central, as Politico NY reports. Swapping stations, however, could cause temporary problems at the 42nd Street transit hub, which currently serves 750,000 passengers per day on four commuter lines via Metro-North.
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Transportation

Hudson River Tunnel, NYC Infrastructure, Grant Program

Back in January, Amtrak unveiled its $24B Gateway Program, a plan that would overhaul the Hudson River rail tunnels by building a brand new tunnel and repairing another that is currently in disrepair. Work under the plan would also encompass expanding Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and replacing rail bridges in New Jersey. While details on the course of construction were previously thin, according to draft proposals obtained by Reuters, we now know that work on the new tunnel will begin in 2019, and the West Side Highway could be subject to three years of traffic jams as a result.

more details here

New Jersey, Transportation

The $24 billion plan to construct two rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River has been designated a priority, which will get it fast-tracked through environmental and permitting stages and trim development time by a year or more, the Wall Street Journal reports; with construction beginning in 2019, the tunnels could be operational as early as 2024, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference at Penn Station on Friday. Both Amtrak and NJ Transit will use the new tunnels, which are among the first steps in a broader plan by Amtrak find ways to handle double the current number of passenger trains running beneath the Hudson River.

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