New Jersey Transit Train Derails in NY at Penn Station

Penn Station, which Amtrak took over in the 1970s, handles twice as many daily train movements, about 1,300, as it did then.

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.

Those problems will have to wait for the completion of the Gateway project, which plans to build a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River, fix damage in the existing tunnel from 2012's Superstorm Sandy and make substantial improvements on the New Jersey side and in Penn Station.

The LIRR is adding train cars to try and serve as many people as possible and is urging riders to switch to subways in Brooklyn and Queens.

Once at the Hoboken Station, crowds of riders tried to navigate their new and unfamiliar route.

"A lot of confusion and too many people gathered in one space", said Lex Marshall, 35, of Morristown.

Amtrak will commence much-needed major repairs at New York's Penn Station starting July 10 (the quasi-federal agency owns the transit hub). New Jersey Transit is diverting some rush hour trains to Hoboken, where passengers can switch to trains operated by the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, or to ferries.

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Service has been stepped up by trains, buses and ferries in anticipation of the busier commute.

Between now and September 1, as many as five of Penn Station's 21 tracks will be shut down for repairs.

"Everybody is at different levels of breaking point", says Andrew Sarnow, who works in marketing and says he has been battling delays of 30-40 minutes for the last two months on his commute from Princeton, New Jersey.

Penn Station's woes sunk to a new low in May when dirty water, widely reported to have been sewage, gushed from the ceiling.

The repairs are expected to last through August. And, on Sunday, he wrote a letter to Long Island Rail Road commuters reminding them it's not the MTA's fault.

In a survey aimed at illustrating the financial hardship caused by the city's subway system, almost 75 percent of respondents blamed trains for their late arrival at work during the last three months, while 13 percent said they'd been docked wages.

"We are just coming into the punch of the rush hour".

  • Megan Austin