Today, Amtrak announced more details regarding its upcoming Penn Station repair program, which is set to begin in about a month.
The railroad, which owns and operates Penn, said it intends to take three tracks out of service at a time, in order to replace various aspects of the infrastructure. A focus of the repair program is “A Interlocking” on the west side of the terminal, which is where the Hudson River Tunnels from New Jersey and the LIRR’s West Side Yard fan out to the 21 station tracks. Amtrak’s VP of Operations East Mike DeCataldo said that the repairs were crucial to the station, which is the nation’s busiest. DeCataldo also noted that the last time major repairs were performed was approximately 25 years ago.
Alongside commuters, the Governors of New Jersey and New York have not been thrilled with Amtrak’s summer plans, which call for a 20% reduction in service.
At an event on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the upcoming disruptions as a “summer of hell”. Cuomo proposed different service options, including new HOV lane policies, buses from Long Island, and ferries.
Also on Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie laid out New Jersey Transit’s updated service plan, calling for a diversion of all Morris and Essex lines trains to Hoboken Terminal, while maintaining service on all other rail lines. The plan also included a 60% fare cut for M&E riders, as well as free connections to the PATH train and ferries.