[UPDATE BELOW] I'm still having palpitations from my rather unpleasant commute to work on the Q this morning, but—and this is an evergreen statement at this point—it appears things were far worse for travelers at Penn Station yesterday evening. An Amtrak switch problem snarled service on the Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit trains just in time for the evening commute, and You Won't Believe What Happened Next!
— Don Hinds Jr. (@dhindsjr) June 6, 2017
The switch problem led to five train cancellations and a series of delays, and though things thankfully cleared up by 7 p.m., yesterday's snafu is just one of many problems that've plagued Penn Station commuters over the last few months. Riders are, understandably, frustrated.
— Awais M (@AwaisM) June 6, 2017
@Amtrak Do you have a timer set for 5pm at Penn Station that is rigged to break switches and tracks?
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) June 6, 2017
Dante wrote about 7 levels of hell. If he commuted thru Penn Station there'd been 8 & 9. And the escalators would be broken for eternity. https://t.co/mTFhbwQaoY
— Alfred Doblin (@AlfredPDoblin) June 6, 2017
"You get to work late, you get home late. It's difficult," Larry Caputo, an LIRR rider, told NBC New York. Another commuter told the outlet, "Every single night, it's something else with this Long Island Rail Road. The infrastructure of this place is ridiculous. Amtrak is inept and they cannot get this running properly."
The good news is, Amtrak plans to do something about that crumbling infrastructure—the bad news is, things will get worse before they get better. Repairs over the summer will cost riders eight weeks of service changes, with a "preliminary" schedule impacting Monday July 10th through Friday September 1st.
Amtrak has not yet responded to Gothamist's request for comment on last night's commute, though they issued the following statement to reporters shortly after service went haywire:
Amtrak engineering crews are working to fix a switch issue on the east end of NY Penn Station. This is mainly affecting Amtrak and NJ Transit trains going east. Passengers can expect delays through rush hour. Amtrak apologizes for the inconvenience.
In other news:
A new sushi place is opening in Penn Station. Seems... ill-advised.
— Dan Brennan (@danieltbrennan) June 7, 2017
Update 11:42 a.m.: Amtrak provided us with the following statement:
On Tuesday afternoon, Amtrak engineering forces responded to a switch issue on the east end of Penn Station. Repairs were not able to be immediately made and the switch was taken out of service. This limited access to the east river tunnels for all three railroads during the afternoon rush hour. Repairs were completed overnight.