Train commuters in New York received some slightly concerning news earlier Thursday, when the railroad service Amtrak announced that a yet unannounced number of Pennsylvania Station tracks will be closed come this summer, in order for some much-needed major repairs to take place. The issue, however, is that in addition to refusing to disclose just how many tracks will be affected by the construction, National Railroad Passenger Corporation officials will also not reveal just how long these closures may last.
According to The New York Times, chief company executive Charles W. Moorman was asked for an estimated deadline but declined to respond. Before divulging this information to the public, he says, a conversation must be had with the heads of other railroads which share Pennsylvania Station. During a conference call held with reporters, Moorman went on to say that it was Amtrak’s goal to “cause the least amount of disruption” possible while still allowing the repairmen to do their job. He admits, however, that in order to make the latter a possibility some tracks will unfortunately have to be closed during weekdays. This does not mean, the CCE implores railway commuters to understand, that this will be a regular occurrence as the NRPC fully understands the hinderance this would cause to passengers traveling to and from Pennsylvania Station.
The New York Post has provided detail to the upcoming repairs, which will reportedly cost Amtrak “tens of millions of dollars.” Despite being unable to say just how long this would be, Moorman is said to want the construction done in a timely manner, and as such he is choosing to not use any funds on “technological improvements” for Pennsylvania Station at this time. During the conference, the executive also announced several proposals focusing on “improving operations and safety” at the station. One of these proposals is to create a joint operations center in which to coordinate responses stemming from station incidents.
Although Moorman may indeed want the construction to be finished as quickly as possible and with as little disruption as can be made sure of, it is still an undeniable fact that the track closures will cause severe delays for daily commuters, as it is North America’s busiest rail station and passengers have already been facing problems over the past month. The New York Daily News reported, at the start of April, on two train derailments which led to massive chaos at Pennsylvania Station. As of earlier Thursday, there were still major delays and service interruptions.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow
Photo Courtesy Amtrak