Full New York rail service expected, 4 days after derailment

Brittany BishopApr 08, 2017

The same day the heads of NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road criticized Amtrak for the time it has taken to restore full service, Christie wrote a letter saying he had directed NJ Transit to withhold funds it normally pays Amtrak for maintenance and repairs until an independent inspection verifies that Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is in a state of good fix.

At a Thursday morning news conference in Penn Station, Amtrak president and chief executive Charles "Wick" Moorman apologized to Penn Station travelers for the prolonged service disruptions caused by the derailment and promised a full restoration of rail service by Friday morning.

The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council - the official watchdog of the LIRR, Penn Station's primary tenant - in a statement Thursday said it was "alarmed" by the pattern of deferred maintenance described by Moorman.

John Porcari, a former deputy US secretary of transportation who is the interim head of the development corporation overseeing Gateway, said a new tunnel wouldn't have prevented the two recent derailments.

Train service into New York City remains disrupted after transit officials say Amtrak didn't complete work on damaged rails at Penn Station on time. Customers on trains arriving/departing New York Penn Station may experience delays up to 50 minutes during rush hours and up to 25 minutes during non-rush hours.

And in the long term, NJ Transit should be more directly involved in the maintenance and operation of the terminal, Santoro said.

On Wednesday, the MTA demanded a sit-down with executives of Amtrak, calling the derailment "the latest in a series of unacceptable infrastructure failures" and blasting Amtrak over the "pace of repairs". Amtrak owns and maintains tracks used by the other railroads at Penn Station.

New York City Transit honored LIRR tickets at Penn Station on the no 1, 2 and 3 lines and the A, C and E lines. He said the agency was "working around the clock" to fix and evaluate the tracks. You can see trains in both pictures moving by the work area.

Unfortunately, no promises were made for Thursday evening rush hour.

But Ferrer says more must be done.

He said Monday's NJ Transit derailment, which happened just after 9 a.m., appears to have been caused by a track condition known as "wide-gauge" condition, which happens when sections of track held together by ties come apart.

Amtrak's CEO is pushing back, saying that while he understands Governor Christie is frustrated, withholding money "is not going to solve any of the problems". Railroad companies relying on Penn Station have seen a surge in ridership in recent years, increasing the strain on an old station with aging and limited infrastructure.

The derailment back on March 24, according to Moorland, was caused by a "mismatch between two pieces of rail that allowed wheels to climb one of the rails and derail".

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