NY rail commuters' 'summer of hell' begins with Amtrak repairs, delays

NY rail commuters' 'summer of hell' begins with Amtrak repairs, delays

NY rail commuters' 'summer of hell' begins with Amtrak repairs, delays

On Monday, Amtrak plans to begin repairing tracks and switches at Penn Station that will limit service to the hub through September 1. But Amtrak made a decision to accelerate that timetable after two minor derailments in the spring that led to major delays for travelers.

With fewer platforms available, the fix work will complicate schedules for the three rail operators that use Penn Station: the national rail corporation Amtrak and the regional commuter train operators New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.

The work is scheduled to last through the end of August.

The LIRR is adding train cars to try and serve as many people as possible, and is urging riders to switch to subways in Brooklyn and Queens. Amtrak announced that several tracks will be taken out of service during the work, reducing train service as much as 25 percent at times. One change will be found in Maplewood where the only Midtown Direct trains into the city will leave before many commuters crawl out of bed.

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So WNYC wants to know: Is your new summer commute causing chaos, or calm?

With two months of urgent repairs beginning at New York's Pennsylvania Station, commuters on Monday may get their first taste of the havoc the track work is expected to bring to the challenge of getting into and out of the largest USA city. Six Empire Service trains will run between Albany-Rensselaer and Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station.

When this summer's work is completed, rail riders will benefit from increased reliability from having up-to-date equipment in and around the station, but will still fall prey to other problems such as electrical wire failures in the tunnel between NY and New Jersey, and signal and track problems in northern New Jersey east of Newark. Roughly 600,000 people pass through each day on trains and New York City subways.

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