Commuters pack early NYC trains for 'Summer of Hell'

Commuters pack early NYC trains for 'Summer of Hell'

The repairs, which are expected to stretch over the summer months, are part of a plan by Amtrak - the owner and operator of New York Penn Station - to resolve an increasing number of derailments that have led to massive delays for travelers. Three NJ Transit trains derailed in Penn Station just this previous year, the most recent occurring days before the planned repairs. Her train, which typically goes to Penn Station, terminated in Hoboken today.

"A New Jersey Transit train passenger, Mr. Ahmed said that one auto derailed of the train, luckily no passengers were in it and no one got injured today, but the conductors said this will happen again", he said.

After a smooth start early Monday, the halls leading from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains in Hoboken were packed for over an hour.

News 12 Long Island's Shari Einhorn won the race by taking the rails.

CBS2's Ali Bauman boarded a train in Summit at 7:26 a.m. and arrived in Hoboken about an hour later without any major problems.

While LIRR riders on an Atlantic Terminal-bound 7:50 a.m. train said they weren't used to riders standing in the aisles by the doors, others said their commuters were less crowded than usual.

Once at the Hoboken Station, crowds of riders tried to navigate their new and unfamiliar route. Off-peak and weekend trains will not be impacted by the Amtrak work.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Commuters wait for an LIRR train Monday morning in Penn Station

"These track closures are a risk to our state's economic well-being and a major inconvenience for the working people of New Jersey who rely on them each and every workday", said Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), the other co-chair of the oversight committee.

"This is hell", said commuter Judi Eskenazi. "I've been using LIRR for the past 11 years and it's been good", said Tamer Seoud, chief financial officer for the non-profit Lutheran Social Services of NY. "I actually moved to Hoboken to not deal with this from Bergen County because Penn Station was so bad and now I feel like we're dealing with it all over again". Sifuentes said. "With a subway system that's already overcrowded how is it going to handle riders who are already displaced?"

"It looks like things are going relatively smoothly this morning but this is day one of an eight week process so we'll see how this proceeds from here on out", said Nick Sifuentes, Deputy Director of the Riders Alliance.

Delays at Penn Station have become routine after a series of derailments, highlighting the urgency of the track repairs.

Amtrak officials have said its two tubes will need to be closed for repairs within the next 15 years, possibly sooner. He says some commuters also could be on vacation.

"We were concerned that PATH wasn't running enough trains, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised", Alan said.

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