3 tracks at a time to close during Penn Station construction
NEW YORK — Amtrak says three tracks at a time will be closed during this summer's work at New York Penn Station.
Michael DeCataldo, Amtrak's vice president of operations, on Thursday revealed additional details about this summer's project and said the work will mainly affect tracks 10, 11, 12 and 13. The tracks will be closed three at a time, according to DeCataldo, and the work should be done by Labor Day.
NJ Transit and Amtrak share tracks 10, 11 and 12. NJ Transit, Amtrak and LIRR share track 13.
The bulk of the work will focus on an area just west of the passenger platforms known as A Interlocking, a crisscrossing series of tracks where trains emerge from a tunnel under the Hudson River. It's the spot where dispatchers route trains to the station's 21 tracks via switches.
Two tracks are needed for staging and removing old equipment while work proceeds on a third track, DeCataldo said. He added that the replacement of track switches will have a greater effect on service because it limits dispatchers' flexibility in routing trains.
"We are very confident in our time frame. We recognize how much of an inconvenience this is going to be and wish there was another way we could do it, but the reality is this work has to be done. The idea of doing this in a compressed time frame is that we'll get it done much more quickly," DeCataldo said.
Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday said that the Morris & Essex Line will be the most impacted by the work. Trains will come to a stop in Hoboken between July 10 and Sept. 1. Tickets will be cross-honored on the ferry, light rain and buses to complete the ride into New York. Fares will also be reduced by 56 to 63 percent.
NJ Transit will release a detailed schedule by the first week of June, according to Christie.
The Senate Legislative Oversight and Assembly Judiciary Committees will a hold a hearing on Wednesday in Newark to discuss the impact on the Morris & Essesx line. NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro, DeCataldo plus executives from PATH and NY Waterway are expected to testify.
"We need to thoroughly examine the agreement that NJ Transit, Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad reached and ensure that the pain is equally shared among commuters on the three railroads." Assemblyman Jack McKeon, D-Essex, said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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