Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Penn Station Back to Normal after Derailment

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Penn Station Back to Normal after Derailment

Article excerpt

The third derailment at Penn Station in a little more than three months underscored the urgency for a major overhaul set to begin on Monday that is expected to cause massive commuter disruptions throughout the summer.

The station was briefly back to normal by Friday morning after an NJ Transit train derailed hours earlier in an area scheduled for extensive repairs that are expected to last eight weeks. Amtrak said those repairs, which will close off a portion of the station's tracks through Sept. 1, will begin on schedule.

On Thursday, a little before 9 p.m., a North Jersey Coast Line train came off the tracks after exiting the Hudson River rail tunnel, according to Amtrak. NJ Transit said the train carried 180 people and that passengers were evacuated and placed on another train that took them to the Penn Station platforms. The New York Fire Department did not report any injuries.

The train derailed in an area known as "A Interlocking," a complex series of switches that sorts trains on the west side of the station, Scott Naparstek, Amtrak's chief operating officer, said during a press briefing Friday.

Workers are scheduled to begin ripping out old track in that area on Monday, replacing it with panels of track and ties that have been assembled at several New Jersey locations, officials have said.

Naparstek said that the two other derailments at Penn Station this year, one involving an Amtrak train and the other involving an NJ Transit train, also occurred in the area to be repaired.

Amtrak officials have said the scheduled repairs were not directly tied to the derailments. However, the repairs were scheduled after inspections were made as a result of the two prior derailments.

They also had said that the other derailments occurred slightly south and east of the main area of repairs. But on Friday an Amtrak spokesman said that all three derailments occurred in an area that is considered part of the section known as A Interlocking, though in slightly different locations.

Thursday's incident was less serious than the previous two, and caused less damage to the train and tracks, Naparstek said, adding that the train was placed back on the track by 2:45 a. …

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