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Amtrak Continues Work on Penn Station for Second Summer

Wed April 11, 2018 - National Edition
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While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required.
While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required.

Amtrak will continue its Infrastructure Renewal program at New York Penn Station during Summer 2018 by performing critical reconstruction of three major railroad infrastructure assets in New York City: The Empire Tunnel and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, which provides train access between Upstate New York and New York Penn Station, as well as renewal work on Track 19 in New York Penn Station, which will help provide commuters with more reliable service. The total cost of the projects is estimated between $45 and $50 million, which will keep this important infrastructure in a state of good repair for Amtrak and benefit New York State with an upgraded, state-of-the art railroad.

Due to the work on the Empire Connection and Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack, and Maple Leaf trains will all be rerouted from New York Penn Station to Grand Central Terminal between Saturday, May 26 and Tuesday, Sept. 4. The Lake Shore Limited will only operate between Boston and Chicago, with New York City and Hudson Valley customers connecting from Empire Service trains at Albany-Rensselaer.

While the schedules have yet to be finalized, there will be fewer service impacts and schedule changes compared to Summer 2017. The work on Track 19 will occur between Friday, June 8 and Friday, July 20. The modified schedule Amtrak announced in January 2018 will continue until the work on Track 19 is complete.

“Amtrak is continuing to prioritize updating the infrastructure in and around New York Penn Station to improve our service reliability,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and COO Scot Naparstek. “We thank our partners for their coordination and flexibility as we continue this important and necessary work.”

Specifics of the work include:

  • Empire Connection – Amtrak will replace track in the Empire Tunnel, as well as replacing cross ties, grade crossings and 8,000 feet of continuous rail, including the track between the tunnel and the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge.
  • Spuyten Duyvil Bridge – Amtrak will update the bridge's mechanical and electrical equipment, which was corroded by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Track 19 at New York Penn Station – Amtrak will replace three turnouts and conduct total ballasted track and wood tie track replacement.

While Amtrak has maintained and repaired this aging infrastructure, some of which dates to the 1970s, full replacement is now required. During the summer of 2017, Amtrak kicked off its Infrastructure Renewal at New York Penn Station, and continued it in early 2018. The Infrastructure Renewal program is one element of Amtrak's plan to modernize stations, infrastructure and equipment on the Northeast Corridor.