Penn Station Commuters Gearing Up for ‘Summer of Hell’

Penn Station Summer of Hell
Penn Station Summer of Hell (Photos courtesy Amtrak)

NEW YORK — Commuters who pass through Penn Station in Manhattan this summer will experience a “Summer of Hell” as Amtrak plans to make emergency repairs to the aging station.

“Amtrak is accelerating its work to improve conditions and reliability of the tracks at Penn Station during the summer,” Amtrak President & CEO Wick Moorman said in a news release. “While we regret that this work requires some reduction in train service and disruption to passengers over the summer months, we believe it will ultimately be worth the investment in terms of increased reliability of passenger rail travel.”

Added Moorman: “In addition, while Amtrak’s own service at Penn Station will face the largest impact of the three railroads in terms of proportional reductions in train service during the work period, we will use all the tools we can, such as lengthening trains, to continue to provide capacity for our intercity travelers going to or from New York.”

The major “Infrastructure Renewal” work, as Amtrak is calling it, is slated to take place between July 10 and Sept. 1, though additional work will continue through June 2018. This work will largely take place in the “A Interlocking” area, which serves as the critical sorting mechanism routing incoming and outgoing trains that enter and exit Penn Station from the Hudson River tunnel and the LIRR’s West Side Yard to the various station tracks and platforms, Amtrak said in a news release.

Penn Station has experienced an uptick of almost 3 million passengers over the past 10 years. More than 10.4 million intercity passengers annually, more than 450,000 intercity and commuter rail passenger trips daily and more than 1,300 train movements per weekday travel through Penn Station.