Train delays likely this summer over work at Penn Station

Penn Station is such a nightmare right now that NJ Transit is giving out late notes

He didn't specify how service on Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit would be affected and said those details would be finalized during discussions with the two commuter railroads in coming days.

Moorman said Amtrak will assemble a task force to look at all aspects of security and coordination at Penn Station, as well as create a joint operation center with Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad. Amtrak officials said on Thursday, April 27, 2017 that necessary work on tracks and signals at New York's Pennsylvania Station will begin in May and continue through the summer.

The news follows Amtrak's acknowledgment earlier this month that track disrepair played a role in two recent train derailments at the station.

New Jersey Transit might have to cut in half the number of trains that come into Penn Station while Amtrak does weekday repairs, which could lead to extreme overcrowding, the agency head warned Friday.

"The events of the past month have shown that we just have to step up our game there", he said.

"In our discussions with Amtrak, we will clearly have discussions about what their plan is and how it's going to disrupt our customers and the severity of the impact", he said Thursday. The derailments - one involving a NJ Transit train and the other an Amtrak Acela train - caused severe service disruptions at the station.

Moorman and Amtrak's vice president and chief operating officer, Scot Naparstek, told lawmakers the work is too extensive to complete in nightly four-hour windows or even an extended 55-hour shutdowns on weekends.

In all, New Jersey Transit faces 67 citations reported over two years that have yet to be settled, as railroads typically litigate them for years.

"Federal legislators from NY and New Jersey understand what the problem is".

Left to right, Amtrak executive vice president Stephen Gardner, COO Scott Naparstek and CEO Wick Moorman in Trenton.

"Commutes are never fun at the best of times and when they're lengthened we understand that".

Commuters who already have endured recent slowdowns at New York's Penn Station are about to hear about more potential delays.

"If they're talking about cancellations and delays we need to analyze that very quickly in terms of the impact to our customers", Santoro said.

FILE - In this Monday, April 3, 2017, file photo, police and fire vehicles respond to news of a train derailment at Penn Station, in NY.

Santoro said NJ Transit is on course to meet a federal mandate to install by the end of next year positive train control (PTC) equipment that matches train speed to track conditions and can override an engineer to automatically slow or stop a train before it crashes.

"I don't think it says very much about the New Jersey congressional delegation, the NY congressional delegation - both sides of the aisle, it's not a partisan comment - that we've been going on decades of being underfunded", Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) said. New staff is also being added to boost track maintenance and other rail services, he said.

While a new tunnel would allow Amtrak to fix the damage, federal funding for a $24 billion plan that would build a new tunnel and replace the existing infrastructure is not guaranteed.

"Penn Station is so important to the economy in North Jersey", Sarlo said.


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