Week one of the “summer of hell” is officially behind us, and the general consensus is that service disruptions at Penn Station and beyond haven’t been as bad as they could have been. And according to Amtrak, the track repairs that it’s currently administering in the tunnels between New York and New Jersey are going better than expected, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that the national rail agency’s COO, Scot Naparstek, said that work for the first week is being completed right on time. “If anything, we are a little bit ahead of schedule right now,” Naparstek said.
Don’t get too excited, though—Amtrak isn’t exactly rushing to get the necessary repairs (which including replacing tracks and performing maintenance in what it calls A-interlocking) done more quickly than anticipated. Naparstek said that Amtrak is focusing on finishing its repairs by its Labor Day deadline; he also acknowledged that problems could certainly arise, despite the relative smoothness of the past week.
“We certainly don’t anticipate that it will run smoothly every day and every moment,” Naparstek said, per the New York Post. “We are hoping and do everything we can, but we are anticipating at some point there will be an issue and we will respond as quickly as possible.”
Track work at Penn Station will continue through September 1, with Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit trains being affected in various ways until then. So far, the biggest complaint about the so-called “summer of hell” has been crowding at stations where spillover has occurred. PATH stations in New Jersey, along with the commuter hub at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal, are just some of the places that have seen an uptick in commuters since Monday.
For a peek at what, exactly, Amtrak is doing, check out the time-lapse video below: