Amtrak ran late keeping Friday morning ‘full service’ promise
NEWARK — Amtrak kept its promise of making full service available at New York Penn Station on Friday morning but ran late.
NJ Transit in a statement said that Amtrak did not release all the needed tracks back by 4 a.m. and is in "regular contact with Amtrak regarding the status of their track repairs."
However, in an update at 7:30 a.m. Amtrak said that all tracks were opened but delays should be expected."We apologize for the delays as we worked to make these repairs," Amtrak wrote in its statement.
Trains could be seen stopping on the tracks north of Secaucus waiting to use a single rail through the tunnel and into New York.
Earlier, the Long Island Railroad, which shares the tracks affected by Monday's derailment at the station with New Jersey Transit and Amtrak, said on its website that Amtrak "did not finish track repair work by 4 a.m. as promised," allowing them to position trains for the morning rush. As a result, LIRR said it had to cancel 14 trains and operate on a reduced schedule on Friday.
Amtrak said earlier that "the major repair work at Penn Station has been completed and Amtrak forces are now currently testing and adjusting the installed components to ensure safe and reliable operation. We expect this work to be completed shortly this morning. During this additional period, Amtrak will prioritize the operations of NJ Transit and LIRR trains but passengers may experience some delays as service is returned to normal."
NJ Transit did tweet that train #3701, a 5:50 a.m. train out of Secaucus, was 10 minutes late due to "operational issues" while #3700 from NY Penn Station was delayed due to "congestion." It also said that the first two MidTown Direct trains arrived at Penn Station.
NJ Transit is still cross-honoring rail, light rail, PATH and NY Waterway tickets, as well as passes for its own buses and private carriers.
The Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line have been operating on a holiday schedule since the derailment but had announced a full regular schedule for Friday.
Amtrak CEO Wick Moorland on Thursday said he was "fully confident" full service would be available on Friday morning, and offered a personal apology for the delays and cancellations this past week.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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