At the end of the first week of Amtrak’s latest infrastructure renewal project at Penn Station, the agency said it had plans for another round of work this summer, although these renovations won’t impact LIRR commuters nearly as much as last year’s “summer of hell” repairs.
Amtrak engineer Gery Williams provided the information during an update Friday on the agency’s latest round of Penn repairs, which are set to last until May 28.
Amtrak has a general sense of what work it plans to take on after this work ends, Williams said, including repairs this summer. The first phase of the ongoing repairs at Penn forced the Long Island Rail Road to reduce rush hour service at the station by about 20 percent.
“We don’t have anything to the extent of last summer planned. Most of it will be on weekends,” Williams said. Some continuous track outages could happen during the weekdays, he said. “Those will be coordinated very well with our partners and released to the general commuting public well ahead of time.”
Detailing the progress in Amtrak’s current project, Williams said workers had focused on rebuilding Track 15 at Penn Station, having already removed track components, including the third rail, and begun demolition of 350 tons of concrete to be removed and replaced. He said he expected workers to begin pouring new concrete by the end of next week.
The reconstructed Track 15 should be done by the end of February, after which workers will perform similar work on Track 18.
The first week of the five-month project came as the LIRR was plagued with unplanned service disruptions, which Williams said were unrelated to Amtrak’s work. In the latest glitches, New York City-wide “power dips” and a separate transmission line issue resulted in Penn temporarily losing its signal system on three separate occasions Friday, an Amtrak spokesman confirmed, resulting in delays and cancellations for the LIRR.
Williams also acknowledged that an Amtrak engineering employee was injured while working at Penn on Thursday and is hospitalized, but he said the incident was not associated with the ongoing infrastructure renewal work.