Penn Station, the major transportation hub that is located in Midtown Manhattan and which has been the source of much frustration in the past month due to overturned trains and broken tracks, is likely to experience some significant delays this year. Amtrack announced that there there will be massive track work undertaken on the tunnels that go under the Hudson river which will lead to massive delays for NJ Transit, the LIRR, and Amtrak trains.
April has experienced nine days of massive delays during the month and the frustration for travelers is reaching a fever pitch with massive cancellations. Amtrak owns Penn Station and is responsible for the repair work that is much needed. Penn Station has undergone several different series of repairs over the years with the most memorable being the addition of MSG on top of the station.
The repairs that are undertaken in recent weeks after broken switches, electrical problems, and the derailed trains, are more stop gaps that are only temporary solutions to problems in the Penn Station train hub. More permanent repair work is needed to keep the trains in operation efficiently over the future years with expected increases in the traffic in the station.
Riders in Penn Station have been increasingly frustrated with the delays due to the archaic infrastructure with Governor Andrew Cuomo recently chiming in stating that if the station were in control of the New York State Government and not Amtrak the station would be in better repair. The LIRR recently threatened to sue Amtrak for the poor state of the tunnels that the LIRR will need to operate in.
The repair work is likely to significantly disrupt train activity. As many as ten tracks in Penn Station may be taken over with the ongoing repairs that is likely to be scheduled later in 2017. The length of time that these repairs will take are expected to be significant, but the plans have not been made public yet. Amtrak is expected to announce the plans of the repair work this week to both the LIRR and NJ Transit and they will have the ability to issue responses to these plans and possibly modify the plans.
Riders won’t have much of an option however and are likely to be stuck with more significant delays as a result of these scheduled repairs. Things are about to get worse rather than better in the New York’s most crowded transportation hub.