Amtrak Mulls Shutting Down Some Tracks at Penn Station for Long-Term Repairs

By Paul Riegler on 25 April 2017
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Penn Station's Central Departure Board

Penn Station’s Central Departure Board

Following multiple incidents in recent weeks involving its aging infrastructure, Amtrak said Tuesday it is considering closing some tracks at Penn Station for an extended period to make long-term repairs. The move would disrupt the commutes of tens of thousands of people who rely on regional railroads, two of the nation’s busiest, which use the station.

“We are putting together plans to renew the infrastructure at New York Penn Station that will result in some delays and cancellations,” the railroad said in a statement. “This renewal effort will replace and rejuvenate the selected infrastructure providing needed updates, and is different than the ongoing repair work in New York Penn.”

Two derailments – one on March 24 and another on April 3 – caused extensive delays and cancellations on both the Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit. Amtrak owns the tracks that both railroads use and admitted that its aging tracks were to blame.

More recently, overhead power issues in the west side of Penn Station left a NJ Transit train disabled in the Hudson Tunnel for over an hour and caused extensive delays on Amtrak, NJ Transit, and LIRR routes. The power line is provided and maintained by Amtrak.

Earlier this week, there were major delays in and out of Penn Station due to track inspection and on Tuesday morning an Amtrak train became stuck at Penn Station.

The work is bound to affect not only commuters but those traveling on Amtrak regional and Acela trains as well.

Amtrak’s high-speed Acela service connects Boston with Washington, D.C. making 14 intermediate stops including Penn Station in New York City. Acela trains attain 150 mph (240 km/h) on portions of the route and are the fastest trains in the United States.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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