An LIRR train rolls east along Track 18 as it...

An LIRR train rolls east along Track 18 as it enters Penn Station. Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Amtrak said Friday that the first stage of its current program of repairs at Penn Station has been completed.

The national railroad, which owns Penn Station and has come under fire over its deteriorated condition, began work at the beginning of January focusing on Track 15 — part of a series of infrastructure renovations at the aging rail hub.

The project included demolishing and replacing a section of concrete.

“We completed the track work within budget, safely, and with minimal amount of disruption to service, as committed,” Amtrak said in a statement, noting the the work was completed three days ahead of schedule.

Final touches — lighting and painting the platform — should finish up next week, it said, noting that the track has been placed back in service.

The schedule changes the LIRR put in place to accommodate Amtrak’s work schedule, affecting 5 percent of rush-hour travelers, will remain in place, until Amtrak finishes two other components of the current round of repairs over the next three months, officials said.

Amtrak said it will start a second project for the station’s “C” Interlocking — a complex of track switches to the east of the train platforms — on March 2.

The “C” Interlocking upgrade includes renewing and replacing three turnouts that direct Amtrak and LIRR trains to eastbound routes and the Sunnyside rail yard, Amtrak said.

A third project focusing on Track 18 will start on March 23, it said. That effort will include “localized concrete demolition with complex steel hardware replacement and rail renewal,” it said.

Amtrak’s three upgrades are mostly being carried out over the weekends, but eight of 184 rush hour trains are being rerouted.

That is less burdensome than last year’s “Summer of Hell,” when 32 rush hour trains were rerouted to accommodate the first phase of Amtrak’s long overdue upgrades.

Amtrak launched an intensive effort to modernize some of Penn Station’s aging track infrastructure after a series of major service disruptions last year, including three train derailments in less than four months.

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