Fourteen rush-hour Penn Station trains that have been canceled or rerouted this summer will return to their regular schedule Tuesday, as Amtrak wraps up construction work that has kept two tracks out of service at the LIRR's busy Manhattan terminal, officials said.
The Long Island Rail Road on Friday announced the service restoration, which includes five trains that have been canceled since May, six that have been diverted to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, and three that have been terminating in Jamaica.
Amtrak’s construction work, which began in late June, has required keeping several tracks out of service at the station, which is used by some 650,000 travelers daily. LIRR president Phillip Eng said the track outages had reduced the railroad’s capacity and flexibility, especially if an unexpected service disruption occurred.
“That meant that we needed to make sure that we were ready to respond and Amtrak was ready to respond, because an incident would have been that much more exponentially impactful,” Eng said at Penn Station on Friday. “It’s coming to an end. So, come Tuesday, now that our customers are coming back from the summer holiday, we’re going to be able to give them their normal peak service.”
The track outages were necessitated by the latest phase of Amtrak's infrastructure renewal project at Penn, which included replacing several track components, including at tracks 14, 15 and 16, and at a major switching area east of the station platforms known as "J.O. Interlocking." Amtrak said the $30 million effort will wrap up Monday on time and on budget.
Richard Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Amtrak, which owns Penn Station, said the project "signifies our commitment to investments in infrastructure and safety."