Amtrak continues work on tracks, equipment after derailment at Penn Station

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 11:30PM
CeFaan Kim has more from Penn Station.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan - Problems extended into Wednesday's commute into and out of New York's Penn Station following a minor derailment Monday.

Amtrak said the issues will persist for the "foreseeable future" because a switching machine was damaged, causing eight tracks to be inaccessible. That leaves just 13 of 21 tracks available for normal operation.

At the earliest, Amtrak said full service could be restored by Friday morning -- but that is still not certain.

"Amtrak engineering forces are making good progress as they work as safely and quickly as possible to repair damage to one of the most complex interlockings on the Northeast Corridor, a location where two tunnel tracks diverge towards the 21 station tracks," the railroad said in a statement. "Our crews hope to restore regular service to New York Penn Station by Friday."

The railroad also released a couple photos Wednesday, which show workers fixing the issues caused by the derailment.

Here's Amtrak's description of what you're seeing:

"These pictures show the complexity of the job and the amount of people working in a small area. The truck in the back is a truck vacuum sucking out ballast so ties can be removed and replaced, other trackmen are working on replacing damaged rail and switch components. The crane is being used to lift remove/replace track components and several of the workers (signalmen) are replacing destroyed switch machines. You can see trains in both pictures moving by the work area."

Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman issued a statement, saying, "We value our partnership with the commuter railroads and share the frustration these recent issues present to all of our customers. For this reason, Amtrak has requested the FRA join in a thorough review of infrastructure at Penn Station to evaluate current conditions."

Below are the details for transit services Wednesday:


Northeast Corridor (NEC) and North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) trains will operate on a holiday schedule with some additional service. MidTown Direct trains will continue to be diverted in/out of Hoboken Terminal.

Cross honoring remains in effect system-wide with NJT bus, private carriers, NY Waterway and with PATH at Penn Station Newark, Hoboken, and 33rd Street in NY. PATH will also be increasing service.

** AMTRAK **
Amtrak will operate a modified schedule on the Northeast Corridor through Thursday. Customers on trains arriving/departing New York Penn Station may experience delays up to 60 minutes during rush hours, and 30 minutes or less during non-rush hours.

** LIRR **

LIRR will cancel 10 trains to Penn Station between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., terminate three trains at Jamaica, and divert one train to Hunterspoint Avenue, Queens, because of reduced tracks.

Metro-North Railroad West-of-Hudson Customers

Metro-North's customers of the Port Jervis Line and Pascack Valley Line will have regular train schedules from Hoboken. But Metro-North advises customers that train service to Secaucus will be reduced in accordance with information released by NJ TRANSIT. As a result, Metro-North's Port Jervis Line and Pascack Valley Line customers who are departing from New York City are advised to ride PATH trains to Hoboken to connect with Port Jervis Line and Pascack Valley Line trains.

Amtrak owns and maintains Penn Station's tracks and infrastructure. While the LIRR normally has use of nine departure tracks from Penn Station, Tracks 13 through 21, the LIRR expects to be limited to fewer tracks and platforms than normal.


The derailment comes a week and a half after an Amtrak train partially derailed as it pulled out of Penn Station.

It scraped the side of an arriving NJT train on March 24. No serious injuries were reported.
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