Amtrak has completed its summer infrastructure renewal project at Penn Station, which will allow for normal schedules to return to the New York City station on September 5, the railroad announced yesterday. "We thank passengers for their patience and flexibility, and our commuter partners, local governments and the states for their collaboration this summer".
"Without their help, this station could not have run as efficiently as it did this summer", Naparstek said.
The eight-week-long project focused on "A Interlocking", the critical sorting mechanism that routes incoming and outgoing trains that enter and exit Penn Station from the Hudson River tunnel and the Long Island Rail Road's West Side Yard to the various station tracks and platforms. Most of the work will take place on the weekends and at nights.
"We're very proud to stand in this room today saying, we delivered", Naparstek said.
But as New Yorkers we've grown a bit wary of promises made by transit officials, so it still comes as a pleasant surprise to see Penn Station's fix work wrap up ahead of schedule. Amtrak will also update its waiting areas and rest rooms.
Two derailments and other problems in the spring prompted Amtrak to speed up the schedule for the repairs, which initially were to be completed over a few years. The work involved a total track and switch replacement that will improve train service through that area in the station.
Amtrak officials are also considering more track closures next year, given how well the fix work went this past summer. Penn Station's "Summer of Hell", turned out to be not quite so hellish, even though a large number of commuters had to take circuitous routes during the eight weeks of fix. "I thought it'd be worse".
MTA had said that LIRR had its two best months of service this year in July and August. He said commuters should expect an on-time service of more than 90 percent.
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