Amtrak includes another Penn Station track in 2018 'renewal'

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NEW YORK CITY — Amtrak’s chief operating officer says the passenger railroad will take at least one more terminal track out of service at New York Penn Station in 2018 for further work.

But, in a call with media Wednesday afternoon, Amtrak COO Scot Naparstek says only one track at a time will be taken out of service. Naparstek confirmed that work is still scheduled to begin Jan. 5, 2018.

The additional information came to light during a question and answer session with reporters during which Naparstek said track 19 would be worked on as well as tracks 15 and 18, which Amtrak had already announced. During summer 2017 work, as many as four to five tracks were out of service at any given time.

Additionally, he mentioned that equipment that was needed for staging to renovate Interlocking “A,” meant taking one track out of service; but this is not anticipated for Interlocking “C”. One track out, he noted, would mean the loss of a platform for 40 to 55 trains a day, although many could be possibly reshuffled to other platforms, with a minimum of schedule annulments. So far, Amtrak has cancelled one round-trip and cut back one Keystone round-trip to Newark N.J. NJ Transit has so far culled five round trips into Penn Station. Long Island Rail Road managers are expected to announce their revised schedules soon.

The fully budgeted $30 million 2018 renewal will commence for Amtrak after the evening rush hour on Jan. 5, a Friday. Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit to start new schedules on Jan. 8, the following Monday.

The Amtrak chief operating officer said that after the early 2018 work, track maintenance that was looked upon as being a patch will be deemed necessary to prevent mishaps at the Penn Station, the U.S.’ busiest terminal. He says every track will be analyzed to make sure that no future maintenance issues will pop up.
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