NEWARK — NJ Transit rider get to enjoy a bit of a break before the Penn Station New York rehabilitation work starts next Monday.

The maximum speed for trains in-and-out of the station was restored to 15 mph by Amtrak in time for Monday morning's commute.

"Amtrak engineering forces have made great progress advancing work in Penn Station's A Interlocking," the railroad said in a statement.

The "speedy" service will be short lived as three tracks will be shut down for the Infrastructure Renewal project starting Monday and scheduled to last through Labor Day.

Delays of 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday became the norm rather than the exception while the restriction was in place recently.

The Morris & Essex Line will bear the biggest brunt of inconvenience during the project with inbound service ending at the Hoboken Terminal except for three early morning trains. Riders can use their ticket on NY Waterway ferries and PATH service into New York. Riders will also get a reduced fare.

Additional direct bus service from Summit and Maplewood to New York was added by NJ Transit for the morning commute. The buses will run every half hour between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The suggestion to work from home is being met with skepticism by NJ Transit rider Justin Lew Block of Maplewood.

"Because I'm a video anchor who works exclusively on set—against a screen screen or in the field out in NYC—so I cannot work a single day from home. I'll be commuting daily, despite the horribly inconvenient changes NJ Transit has placed on M+E riders. Mayors on the M+E line are naive to think that working from home is a true alternative. Being in the office matters," Black said.

NJ Transit was not affected by the state government shutdown and operated a normal weekday schedule on Monday. Extra light rail service will be available on Tueday the 4th after Jersey City's fireworks display.

The display was moved from Liberty State Park, which is closed by the shutdown, to Exchange Place.

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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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