Amtrak to launch East River tunnel project

Transit alert from Eyewitness News

September 30, 2011 8:08:26 AM PDT
Work is set to begin this weekend on the East River tunnel project.

Amtrak will replace the tracks in all four of the tunnels.

The MTA urged Amtrak, which owns Penn Station, to perform the work to improve the reliability of train service.

An Amtrak train derailed last May in one of the East River tunnels due to a broken rail. The track damage resulted in a major disruption of LIRR service for almost a week as Amtrak crews worked around-the-clock to make repairs. Following this incident, inspections revealed significant water drainage issues inside the tunnels.

The work will be performed in 55-hour weekend outages in one or two of the four tunnels each weekend. The work is being performed on weekends because fewer trains operate. Work will begin at 10 PM on Fridays and continue through 5 AM on Mondays. There will also be double tunnel outages during weekday overnight periods for the duration of the project.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-year 2015.

For more information, please visit