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Amtrak to release details on Penn Station repairs, delays

30 April 2017

He declined several times to say how many or which tracks the repairs would affect, noting the agency would have more specifics following its meeting with NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road officials next week. Bob Gordon. "We know that both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit have been underfunded for years, but we need to know why emergency repairs were not made to the New York Penn Station tracks prior to the derailments".

There were two train derailments within a two-week time span at Penn Station this year due to problems with the track.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he's satisfied with Amtrak's announcement that it is accelerating fix work at New York's Penn Station starting next month.

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

He accused Christie of "hypocrisy" for attacking Amtrak, citing "underfunding" of NJ Transit and fare increases during the governor's tenure.

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Initially, work on that project had been planned to be done on weekends over two to three years, but it's clear that it needs to be completed more quickly, Moorman said. The derailments - one involving a NJ Transit train and the other an Amtrak Acela train - caused severe service disruptions at the station. And to make matters worse, there's a chance that the Gateway Tunnel Project, which would replace the aging tunnels below the Hudson River that connect Manhattan to New Jersey, could lose federal funding under the Trump administration. NY and New Jersey have offered to pay half the cost if the federal government pays for the rest, a proposal now being considered by the Trump administration. Wick Moorman, Amtrak's chief executive, also is scheduled to appear. When asked if they didn't see this coming, he said, "Somebody could have". New Jersey Transit's executive director expressed deep frustration that it's a major player and pays fees for Amtrak facilities but has had little control over maintenance decisions.

Santoro, during his appearance before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in Trenton yesterday, was pressed by lawmakers to explain what they're supposed to tell constituents who won't be happy to hear about the likelihood for even more commuting delays. "In light of serious issues surrounding Penn Station. and its failing infrastructure, Long Island commuters have faced unprecedented hardship that must be addressed", Kaminsky wrote.

Moorman pointed out that the tracks in service at Penn Station were built in the 1970s when the railroad handled only half the number of trains and a third of the customers as it does today.

"A few weeks ago I couldn't get back, I had to have someone drive me home because of what was going on in Penn Station", she says.

Moorman urged lawmakers to press the case for federal funding for Gateway, a colossal $24 billion project that would build new tunnels under the Hudson, expand rail capacity in Newark and NY, replace the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River, and build new facilities for Penn Station in Manhattan. Metro North wants to begin service, at a cost of $700 million, from the East Bronx via The Hell Gate Bridge and Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside Queens on to Penn Station some time between 2021 and 2023.

Amtrak to release details on Penn Station repairs, delays