Track and switch work at New York’s busy Penn Station will result in serious service disruptions for Amtrak, including fewer trains servicing the Northeast Corridor.
In what has been described as a potential “summer of hell”, a heavily modified schedule has been released for services in and out of the station over the next few months.
Three daily round-trip Northeast Regional trains will be cancelled between New York and Washington, DC, between July 10 and September 1, according to Amtrak. Service on these trains between New York and Boston will operate as normal, however.
Service will also continue on Amtrak’s Keystone Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but three daily round trip Keystone trains will now start and end in Philadelphia and one will start and end in Newark, NJ, rather than New York/Penn Station.
The Crescent, which normally runs from New York to New Orleans, will now run only as far north as Washington, DC. Changes to the Empire Service, which runs from New York City to Upstate New York, also are planned and will be announced soon, according to Amtrak.
The schedule changes will not affect Acela Express service. Amtrak is advising travellers to book rail travel early for summer 2017 travel through New York.
“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,” said Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman, who said the railroad would “use all the tools we can, such as lengthening trains, to continue to provide capacity for our intercity travellers going to or from New York.”
Service also will be cut back on local commuter rail service at Penn Station, including New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road trains.