Full New York rail service expected, 4 days after derailment
07:31, Apr 8, 2017
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Gov. Chris Christie has directed New Jersey Transit to withhold funds given to Amtrak until an independent inspection verifies that Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is in a state of good fix following recent derailments involving New Jersey commuter trains.
Amtrak's CEO says that a train derailment in NY that has caused major delays for commuters at the nation's busiest rail hub was caused when a track split after the train went over a weakened wooden railroad tie. "We know we let them down, quite frankly, and we are committed to make sure that that doesn't happen again".
Moorman said full service would be restored by Friday morning. Amtrak owns and maintains tracks used by the other railroads at Penn Station.
MTA officials say NJ Transit will fully restore service for the Friday morning commute after a train derailment created a headache for commuters.
Moorman says Amtrak is reviewing its maintenance practices and is also launching an investigation with the Federal Railroad Administration. Moorman said the governor has a right to be upset, but added: "I will say that withdrawing funding is not going to solve any of the problems".
Addressing why Amtrak did not take up the LIRR on its offer to help with the derailment repairs, Moorman said the problem wasn't a lack of manpower but rather the extent of the damage to the tracks.
The governor said that in addition to halting payments, he has asked his attorney general to consider taking legal action to recover the money paid to Amtrak, according to the letter. However, New Jersey Transit said there was still some work being done and its customers "may experience some delays".
On Wednesday, executive at both NJ Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority criticized Amtrak for failing to keep up its infrastructure at Penn Station, leading to the derailment.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is urging the state's congressional representatives to hold hearings about recent derailments involving New Jersey commuter trains.
Eight of Penn Station's 21 tracks went out of service Monday when an NJ Transit train derailed.
Christie told Coscia, the Amtrak chairman, that he has "directed NJ Transit to cease making any payments to Amtrak under the agreement until there has been a thorough and independent examination of the tracks, signals, switches and other equipment maintained by Amtrak" on the Northeast Corridor "and full and unqualified verification that the assets are in a state-of-good-repair".
The fix work took as long as it did because of the configuration of the tracks.
The first incident was "the result of a mismatch between two pieces of rail", he said. I will also point out that New Jersey Transit to commit capital funding to Penn Station is very recent because of congressional legislation that was passed some years ago. The passage, damaged during Hurricane Sandy, must be closed for a complete overhaul, and has less than 20 years of serviceable use, Amtrak has said.
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