NEWARK — NJ Transit riders were greeted by two work projects that changed the routines of riders.

Amtrak began work Monday on Track 5 at Newark Penn Station, the track used by most Raritan Valley Line riders. Many of them had to use Track 3 and 4, which is already being used by Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line riders, making for a crowded platform.

NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith advised passengers to check the departure boards for their new platform

The change caught many riders by surprise.

The track will be closed through Thursday, Nov. 15. After Thanksgiving, the track work will pick up on Monday, Nov. 26, and continue through Thursday, Dec. 13.

Work also began Monday on replacement of the westbound stairs at the Metropark station.

NJ Transit expedited the project in order to get it done in eight weeks.  Executive Director Kevin Corbett said the staircase had some some "safety issues."

Riders told CBS New York the stairs had been closed in July with no repairs.  Passengers said the closure meant passengers had to wait on the platform along the tracks in order to use a staircase that could take a half hour to exit

Smith said other stairs are available for passengers to use.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ