The ‘summer of hell’ at Penn Station will finish on time, Amtrak says

Posted On Fri, August 25, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, August 25, 2017 By In 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.

Repairs at Penn Station, courtesy of Amtrak

According to Amtrak, their engineers focused on the “A-interlocking” mechanism. This mechanism sorts the incoming and outgoing trains that enter and exit Penn Station from the Hudson River tunnel and the Long Island Rail Road’s West Side Yard to the correct station tracks and platforms. This summer, Amtrak worked to totally replace some of the station’s tracks and switches.

In a statement, the co-CEO of Amtrak, Wick Moorman, expressed gratitude for the customer’s patience. “We also appreciate the collaboration and support of our commuter partners, NJ TRANSIT and the Long Island Rail Road,” Moorman said. “Our engineering forces are making great progress and we look forward to resuming scheduled operations Sept. 5.”

During Amtrak’s repairs, over two dozen LIRR train routes were affected and train service to Manhattan from New Jersey and Long Island was reduced by 20 percent. To minimize the impact on commuters, MTA provided discounted fares and transit alternatives, like ferry and bus service.

However, because of the system’s outdated infrastructure, repairs will continue until approximately June 2018, with most of the work taking place on weekend to limit service disruptions for commuters.


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