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Smooth Sailing on the First Morning of Penn Station Track Repairs

11 July 2017

Amtrak, co-owner of Penn Station alongside the MTA, reported a 3 million passenger increase in just the last ten years.

Still, the NY governor has no direct oversight over repairs at Penn Station.

Trump has proposed eliminating a grant program that was to pay for half of the tunnel project, which is now estimated to cost about $13 billion.

Speaking Monday morning, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said, so far, "everything has been on time" and "working according to plan". "Only then will we be able to create the transportation and transit system New Jersey deserves".

He said that he was pleasantly surprised, but that the changes that diverted all of the trains on NJ Transit's Morris and Essex Line were stretching Hoboken's capacity to the limit.

Amtrak owns and operates the station, which normally serves more than 650,000 riders per day - not including the trips taken to or from one of the two subway stops connected to the station.

In Maplewood, as commuters drifted in for the 7:01 a.m., they were met by a TV news van and boxes of doughnuts and coffee set out at the station entrance.

"A lot of confusion and too many people gathered in one space", said Lex Marshall, 35, of Morristown.

The national passenger rail corporation Amtrak and regional commuter train operators New Jersey Transit Corp and the Long Island Rail Road all converge on Penn Station.

Unfortunately for train riders, the summer is going to get even worse as Penn Station, the busiest train station in the country - one that serves riders from New Jersey, Long Island, communities north of the city, and New York City proper - is set to undergo much-needed track fix that will reduce the number of trains in and out of the station by 20% during a so-called "Summer of Hell".

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"The measure is how good are you when things are bad", Ingoglia said.

This item has been corrected to show the surname of NJ Transit's spokesman is Ingoglia, not Ingoglie.

The construction is due to stretch until early September and some New Jersey commuters are facing the decision of how they will face their new routes. Transit officials announced at Penn Station that the train had derailed.

MTA Interim Executive Director Veronique Hakim said the MTA is understanding of people's' concerns. PATH trains were running every five minutes out of Hoboken rather than the usual seven-minute interval and additional NJ Transit buses were running from Hoboken to Manhattan as well.

The repairs are expected to last through August.

The commuter crunch highlights lagging investment in USA infrastructure, and especially in New York City, which is dependent on mass transit.

The repairs were initially scheduled for nights and weekends over a few years, but recent derailments and other problems that spotlighted the station's aging infrastructure convinced Amtrak to accelerate the work schedule.

Waiting with a handful of other commuters on a pre-dawn Long Island Rail Road platform in Farmingdale, Susan Young, 43, said: "It's going to have some slowdown".

But he conceded that the evening rush could be more dramatic, as commuters tend to travel out of the city in a tighter time window.

Around two hours after the derailment, the train passengers were moved to a "rescue train", Mr. Denison said.

Smooth Sailing on the First Morning of Penn Station Track Repairs