NY Penn Station's 'Summer of Hell' Begins Today

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 10, 2017
By Jacob G. - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Commuting into the city through Penn Station is generally a frustrating and stressful exercise, even on the best of days. Today kicks off a summer that promises to be far worse, as maintenance and repairs shut down parts of the busiest passenger train hub in the nation, according to Reuters. Those who come into the city via Amtrak, NJ Transit or Long Island Railroad will find their trips in and out of the city far more complex than before, as track closures force workers to find alternate routes, such as ferries, buses and the PATH train, according to Reuters. Certain commutes will need even to incorporate several elements, such as taking a bus into the city proper then taking the subway to the office. For instance, NJ Transit is rerouting many of its trains to the Hoboken terminal, where riders will then need to transfer to another line to get into New York.

For those traveling into the city from NJ Transit, the service's website outlined the following service changes this summer: 

The following service plan will be in place weekdays from July 10th through September 1st.   All Morris & Essex Lines (M&E) customers should check the new schedules for train times and station stops as changes have been made.

  • Midtown Direct trains on the Morristown Line scheduled to arrive in PSNY after 7:00 a.m. will be diverted to Hoboken for the rest of the service day.  Important Note:  Customers traveling into New York on four early morning Midtown Direct trains will not have return service in the p.m.; they should travel to Hoboken to access westbound M&E trains.
  • The four Morris & Essex Lines Midtown Direct trains are:
    • 6602, the 5:44 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York
    • 6604, the 6:29 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York
    • 6696, the 6:54 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York (Please check schedule for station stops.)
    • 6306, the 6:58 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York. (Please check schedules for station stops.)
  • Midtown Direct trains on the Gladstone Branch will be diverted to/from Hoboken.
  • Midtown Direct trains on the Montclair-Boonton Line will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.  Montclair-Boonton Line Midtown Direct trains will not stop at Broad Street Station during peak hours.  Note: All Montclair-Boonton Line customers should check the schedules as station stops may have changed.
  • All Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains to PSNY will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.
    • Hoboken-bound North Jersey Coast Line trains will terminate at Newark Penn Station.  Note: Customers can utilize rail service to Secaucus and transfer to Hoboken-bound trains. Hoboken tickets will be honored at Secaucus. See gate agent upon arrival.
  • Raritan Valley Line trains will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor adjustments.
  • Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines will operate on regular weekday schedules, however, connecting PATH trains at Hoboken Terminal may be different.
  • Atlantic City Line will operate on regular weekday schedules.

    If you take an Amtrak train into New York, the website went over the following service changes: 

  • Acela Express: No changes
  • Northeast Regional Service: Three round trip trains (six total trains) between New York City and Washington, DC, canceled. Service between New York City and Boston will operate at currently scheduled levels.
  • Keystone Service: Three round trip trains (six total trains) will start and end in Philadelphia, and one round trip train (two total trains) will start and end at Newark, New Jersey. Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg will operate at currently scheduled levels.
  • Empire Service: To be announced shortly.
  • Long-Distance Service: The Crescent, operating between New York City and New Orleans, will originate and terminate in Washington, DC, daily during the work period. Connections will be provided on other Northeast Corridor trains.

For those who take the LIRR, there is a dedicated website that explains all services changes for all affected branches in detail. 

Expect schedules to be disrupted until at least September, though Reuters noted that it could be longer if work falls behind schedule. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota recommended that riders adjust their schedules to catch earlier or later trains in order to avoid the rush, according to the New York Post

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