Penn Station train tracks fixed but not for morning commute

NYC trains still disrupted by ongoing work on damaged rails

NYC trains still disrupted by ongoing work on damaged rails

Rush hour hell will continue Friday, because Amtrak didn't complete work on damaged rails at Penn Station when it said it would, the MTA said. While a new tunnel wouldn't have prevented the derailments, the interim head of the development corporation overseeing Gateway said the eight tracks taken out of service could have been connected to a new tunnel without a significant service disruption. The cause appeared to be a mismatch of two rail pieces, Moorman said.

The LIRR said it still plans on having full evening rush-hour service.

It says it will also terminate three trains at Jamaica and divert one train to Hunterspoint Avenue in Queens because of reduced track capacity.

"Amtrak has responsibility for what happened", Moorman said.

NJ TRANSIT is in regular contact with Amtrak regarding the status of their track repairs.

"Amtrak needs to step up its maintenance and safety efforts, but Governor Christie has diverted almost $3 billion in NJ Transit capital funding to day-to-day operations, and the increasingly unreliable and overcrowded mass transit agency he oversees is under federal investigation after suffering the most accidents among the nation's largest commuter railroads".

Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman leaves a news conference, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in New York's Penn Station. "Amtrak's apparent disregard for NJ Transit's customers is entirely unacceptable to me".

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"It's like that bridge thing in Philadelphia", he said, referring to a vehicle bridge connecting Pennsylvania and New Jersey where a crack was discovered in January that forced the bridge's closure for 1½ months.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a letter to Amtrak's chairman Wednesday that he directed New Jersey Transit to withhold funds until an independent inspection verifies Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is in good fix.

The governor said that in addition to halting payments, he has asked his attorney general to consider taking legal action to recover the money paid to Amtrak, according to the letter. Christie has cut an annual state subsidy for the agency and diverted $2.94 billion in capital funding to day-to-day operations. A year ago it logged the most accidents among the 10 biggest commuter railroads, including its first fatal wreck in two decades. It was relying on supplementary buses and ferries.

To help remedy the issues, Amtrak also immediately surveyed all other sites at the station that could have the same condition and confirmed that none were found.

Metro-North Railroad has been advising its New York City-bound Rockland County riders on its Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines to skip Secaucus and head to Hoboken, where they can take the PATH trains to Manhattan. Amtrak responded, saying major fix work at Penn Station actually was completed, and that workers were testing and adjusting components Friday morning.

A previous project to build a new tunnel was killed in 2010 by Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over concerns about cost overruns.

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