Amtrak's Moorman apologizes for bad track at Penn Station

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Workers show Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman the extent of damage and the progress of repairs at New York' Penn Station on Thursday. Moorman apologized to commuters for the inconvenience back tracks have caused.
NEW YORK —Wick Moorman says problems with Amtrak's tracks at New York Penn Station are the cause of two recent derailments in the past month.

Moorman, Amtrak's CEO, apologized to New Yorkers and commuters affected by a Monday derailment that has snarled the movement of Amtrak, NJ Transit, and Long Island Rail Road trains all this week.

Moorman says that a March 24 Acela Express derailment was caused by two pieces of mismatched rail in a curve, while Monday's NJ Transit derailment was the caused by the rails being too far apart because of defective wood crossties.

"We are working around the clock to both repair the damage caused by the second incident and to ensure that we have no other track problems in this busiest and most important terminal," Moorman says.

In a letter published Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he's direct NJ Transit to withhold payments from Amtrak for using the Northeast Corridor until an independent investigation determines that Amtrak's right-of-way is in a state of good repair.

The phrase "state of good repair" is a popular catchphrase in the rail transit industry lately. Different agencies and organizations use slightly different standards and language to define the phrase, which focus on the condition of infrastructure and equipment. Observers say, generally, that infrastructure is in a state of good repair if it is up-to-date on maintenance and repairs, is safe, functions as designed, and serves its intended purpose.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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