Halfway through what Gov. Cuomo initially called the “summer of hell,” commuters generally agree that there hasn’t been too much train pain to speak of.
At this point, about four weeks in, workers at Penn Station have removed old track foundations and poured fresh concrete in preparation for new rails.
Amtrak recently said its repairs at Penn are running smoothly and on schedule for its promised Sept. 1 deadline. The railroad says that it would typically take years to complete a reconstruction of this magnitude, yet they’re doing it in just eight weeks.
Thus far, many commuters agree that the only thing hellish about their summer has been the heat.
Commuter Madeline Stockman, of Wantagh, was convinced by her friend that the LIRR remains the best way to get into the city from Long Island.
“He was all nervous about what the summer was going to be like,” she said. “Then he said, 'I don’t know what they’re talking about, it hasn’t been bad.'”
Commuter Michelle Mandile of Babylon agreed.
“It’s been fine for me," she said. "Basically normal.”
Even the man who coined the “summer of hell” conceded that the nickname doesn’t seem to fit so far.
“It has not yet turned out to be the summer of hell. Let’s hope it stays that way,” Cuomo said.
While Amtrak isn’t guaranteeing perfection at Penn Station within four weeks’ time, it insists that its summer of repairs will majorly reduce the risk of problems, derailments and delays.