August 24, 2017 / 8:20 PM / in 10 months

New York 'summer of hell' for rail commuters to end Sept. 5

Regular train service is expected to return on Sept. 5 to New York’s Pennsylvania Station, Amtrak said on Thursday, after emergency track replacements upended schedules across the region and lengthened daily trips into Manhattan from its suburbs.

The national passenger railroad’s repair program inside the busiest train hub in the United States, which began July 10, focused on the most complex part of the station amid a web of tracks and switches where trains are sorted on their way into and out of the Hudson River tunnel and a rail yard.

The summer was not as hellish as some may have expected, however.

Chaotic disruptions were limited because Amtrak and the commuter lines that use Amtrak’s tracks - NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) - planned alternate routes and methods in advance for people to get around.

“We thank customers for their patience while we renew the infrastructure at New York Penn Station,” said Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman in a statement.

Amtrak and the LIRR said separately on Thursday they will resume regular schedules Sept. 5, the day after the Labor Day holiday which traditionally marks the end of the summer vacation season, and four days later than planned.

“Together, we were all able to get where we needed to go this summer with minimal disruption,” said Joseph Lhota, Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the LIRR.

Repairs will continue through June 2018, Amtrak said, but most of the work will be done on weekends.

Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish

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