| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 30 Amtrak said on Tuesday that it
would cancel three round-trip trains every weekday between New
York and Washington, D.C., when it starts major repairs this
summer at New York's Pennsylvania Station.
In what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dubbed the "summer of
agony," major disruptions are expected for riders as Amtrak
replaces switches and rails in New York's Penn Station. Amtrak
owns the rails and station and leases them to commuter lines
operated by NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.
The work was originally scheduled to take years but was
expedited after recent derailments and other problems that left
hundreds of thousands of commuters delayed for hours because of
Amtrak President Wick Moorman said in Tuesday's statement
that its "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."
Amtrak's routes between New York and Boston, as well as
Acela trains, are not expected to change, the national passenger
rail company said in Tuesday's statement.
New York is a major choke point on the railroad's Northeast
Corridor, its most lucrative route, between Boston and
Washington. About 140 Amtrak trains use Penn Station daily.
The busiest rail hub in the nation, Penn Station is a web of
more than 20 tracks, the most complicated section of which will
see significant work between July 10 and Sept. 1.
Some Manhattan companies are exploring alternate work plans
for employees so they can avoid the mess altogether.
Amtrak and NJ Transit officials are scheduled to testify on
Wednesday before a New Jersey legislative committee. Riders are
fuming because NJ Transit's popular Morris & Essex Midtown
Direct line will be diverted during the repair program to
Hoboken, where ferries and alternate train lines connect to
"We need to thoroughly examine the agreement that NJ
Transit, Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road reached and ensure
that the pain is equally shared among commuters on the three
railroads," state Senator Bob Gordon said in a statement.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Additional reporting by David
Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Daniel Bases and Lisa