Trains Top 10 stories for 2017: No. 7, SUMMER OF HELL

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Workers show Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman the extent of damage and the progress of repairs at New York' Penn Station in April. Moorman apologized to commuters for the inconvenience bad tracks have caused.
WAUKESHA, Wis. — This story will be quick and painless, which is ironic because few people predicted the same for Penn Station remediation work this past summer.

In fact, most observers and New York media dubbed track work underneath New York City to be the Summer of Hell. The often hyperbolic New York Post even devoted an entire online section to the notion.

But for those outside of New York City who did not have to endure over-full trains, a less-robust schedule, and anger-inducing delays, Amtrak's dedication in owning and fixing track and platforms in the most heavily used passenger station in the Western Hemisphere was a turn-around moment.

Yes, Amtrak remains underfunded and misunderstood, but outgoing CEO Wick Moorman and the passenger railroad found a way to do the right thing. Amtrak stood up and acknowledged problems and politely but firmly told passengers, New York politicians, and the administrators at NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road that the status quo was unacceptable — and then did something about it.

For grace under fire, intestinal fortitude, and actually fixing Penn Station problems, Trains editors offer a hearty handshake to Amtrak managers and name the Summer of Hell the No. 7 story of 2017.

Trains editors will present the Top Ten stories of the year in reverse order starting Dec. 21 and finishing on Dec. 30.

Read previous years' Top Ten stories online.
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