Amtrak eyes outage that strands Long Island Rail Road trains

by Abel Hampton June 2, 2017, 1:39
Amtrak eyes outage that strands Long Island Rail Road trains

Of the three railroads that serve Penn Station, Amtrak service will be affected the most, Moorman said. Customers were even offered "tardy notes" to show their employers.

The estimate is the first official glimpse of how much longer and more torturous commutes may be during what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has dubbed the "Summer of Agony", from July 10 through September 1, as the busiest train station in the nation undergoes a massive fix program.

"Amtrak is taking ample precautions to ensure that we are able to get this work accomplished on schedule and provide extra support to passengers in the station and on our trains during this summer period", Gardner said. Amtrak owns Penn Station, but the Long Island Rail Road operates the most trains there.

As Penn Station commuters brace for what Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the "summer of hell", Manhattan businesses and their workers are figuring out whether they need to make contingency plans when tracks close for long overdue repairs, experts say.

It will affect service on several of Amtrak's lines, including cutting 3 trains a day from Washington D.C., as well as slashing New Jersey Transit, which plans to divert trains on its Morris & Essex lines to Hoboken, according to reports, where riders will then be forced onto the PATH train or ferries.

"We haven't announced details of the LIRR service plan yet but stay tuned for an announcement soon", said LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan.

"We haven't had conversations with NJ Transit about this", he said.

Amtrak's reservation systems have been updated to reflect these schedule changes and any passenger already booked on a train that has been canceled or altered will be contacted and accommodated on other scheduled services.

For the summer, NJ TRANSIT has insisted on having a Joint Station Operations Center at PSNY for better crowd management and customer communication. "I think what we are seeing now is the result of that". "I would have had town-hall meetings to explain what's going on". Fares will be reduced by about half for riders on the Morris & Essex line. Later, Santoro came back and said the discount was increased from 25 percent to about 50 percent upon Christie's request. "I really don't understand why our lines are affected".

The Penn Station project is separate from a massive plan to build a new tunnel under the Hudson River connecting NY and New Jersey to replace an existing 110-year-old tunnel that is a source of regular delays due to overhead wire problems.

When asked about NJ Transit's claims that Amtrak did not share information about the degradation of the tracks, Naparstek said that now that NJ Transit is contributing "their fair share", there would be broader discussions on investments. Connections will be provided on other Northeast Corridor trains.

Christie's office referred questions about the capital-funding issue to NJ Transit, and a spokeswoman there took issue with Amtrak's figures, saying some matters are still in dispute and in other years Amtrak didn't spend the full amount that was agreed upon by the two agencies.

Fernandez has always been critical that the governor has been focusing more on putting a "mall" into Moynihan Station - the overhaul of the Farley Post Office for Amtrak's eventual new home - instead of fixing the tracks.


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