After 'Summer of Hell,' Commuters Brace for 2nd Round of Repairs at Penn Station

What to Know

  • Another phase of the Infrastructure Renewal program at Penn Station will take place from Jan. 5 through May 28, 2018

  • NJ Transit, LIRR and Amtrak will experience service changes through the duration of the project

  • Penn Station is experiencing ongoing repairs to fix aging infrastructure

Train commuters into New York are bracing for a second round of track repairs at Penn Station that will cause the cancellation of some trains and the re-routing of others.

The schedule changes beginning Monday won't be as significant as during last year's so-called "Summer of Hell," but will last longer -- until late May.

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Amtrak embarked on the accelerated repair schedule last year after two derailments and other problems highlighted the station's aging infrastructure.

The two-month summertime repair project targeted an area of the station fed by the Hudson River tunnel, where numerous tracks crisscross to feed into 21 platforms. The work was predicted to create a "summer of hell" for commuters by Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but the disruptions turned out to be not as dire as predicted.

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This time, Amtrak will demolish and replace two tracks, and replace components in an area where Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road trains are shifted east to Sunnyside Yards in Queens.

NJ TRANSIT

Beginning Monday, New Jersey Transit will terminate and originate one morning and one evening train at Hoboken and one in each period at Newark Penn Station. One evening outbound train will be cancelled. More at NJTransit.com.

A.M.

NJCL train 3216, the 6:11 a.m. eastbound Long Branch departure, will now depart at 6:23 a.m. and will be diverted to Hoboken renumbered as 2604

NEC train 3122, the 7:06 a.m. eastbound departure from New Brunswick will terminate at Newark Penn Station renumbered as 5822.

P.M.

NJCL train 3267, the 5:25 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate from Hoboken at 5:22 p.m. renumbered as 2609

NEC train 3171, the 5:43 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate at Newark Penn Station at 6:03 p.m. renumbered as 5869

NJCL train 3441, the 6:51 p.m. departure from PSNY, will be cancelled

Alternate Travel Options

NJCL customers may consider utilizing private bus carriers such as Academy Bus from locations including the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Visit www.academybus.com for complete details.

NJCL customers may also consider ferry service from Monmouth County including NY Waterway’s ferry from Belford www.nywaterway.com or Seastreak ferry from Highlands or Atlantic Highlands www.seastreak.com.

NEC customers may consider private bus carriers including Suburban Transit/Coach USA bus from points in Mercer and Middlesex Counties www.coachusa.com.

Customers may also utilize NJ TRANSIT bus service on the Route 9 corridor.

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LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD

The Long Island Rail Road says it will reroute five morning and three evening trains to accommodate the work. To compensate, the LIRR will add two post-rush hour trains in the morning and three in the evening. More at MTA.info.

Babylon Branch

The LIRR will add a new train departing Freeport at 5:43 a.m. and stopping at Baldwin, Rockville Centre and Jamaica and arriving at Penn Station at 6:24 a.m.

The 6:56 a.m. train from Wantagh, which currently stops at Bellmore and Merrick before running express to Penn Station, will add a stop at Jamaica to allow for connecting service to Penn Station, then will continue to Atlantic Terminal, where it will arrive at 7:45 a.m.

The LIRR will add two cars to the 7:35 a.m. train from Babylon making all stops to Seaford then running express to Jamaica and Penn Station. This train will be lengthened to 12 cars, from the usual 10, adding more than 200 extra seats.

The 7:44 AM train from Merrick, which currently stops at Freeport and Baldwin before running express to Penn Station, will depart 3 minutes earlier at 7:41 AM and will add a stop at Jamaica to allow customers to change for connecting service to Penn Station, then will continue to Hunterspoint Avenue, where it will arrive at 8:25 a.m.

The 8:25 a.m. train from Freeport, which currently stops at Baldwin, Rockville Centre and Jamaica en route to Penn Station, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal, where it will arrive at 9:07 a.m. Connecting service is available at Jamaica.

The LIRR will add two cars to the 4:34 p.m. train from Penn Station, running express to Seaford then making all stops to Babylon, lengthening the train to 12 cars from the usual 10, adding more than 200 extra seats.

To provide a later departure time for customers using Hunterspoint Avenue and traveling on the Babylon, Hempstead, Long Beach and Ronkonkoma Branches, the LIRR will add a new train departing Hunterspoint Avenue at 7:02 p.m. and stopping at Rockville Centre and Baldwin en route to arriving at Freeport at 7:42 p.m. This train makes connections at Jamaica for trains bound for Babylon, Hempstead, Long Beach and Ronkonkoma.

Far Rockaway Branch

The 8:10 a.m. train from Far Rockaway, which currently makes all local stops to Valley Stream, then Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Penn Station, will be rerouted to Hunterspoint Avenue, where it will arrive at 9:04 a.m. This train will not stop at Kew Gardens or Forest Hills. Connecting service is available at Jamaica.

The train that currently originates at 5:32 p.m. at Penn Station and terminates at Far Rockaway at 6:24 p.m., will instead originate at Jamaica at 5:52 p.m. Customers at Penn Station can connect with this train by boarding the 5:23 p.m. Long Beach Branch train or the 5:24 p.m. train to Freeport and changing at Jamaica.

Hempstead Branch

The 5:38 p.m. train from Penn Station, due into Hempstead at 6:36 p.m., will originate at Atlantic Terminal at 5:47 p.m. Customers from Penn Station can connect with this train by boarding the 5:33 p.m. train to Hicksville and changing at Jamaica.

The 7:05 p.m. train from Penn Station, due into Hempstead at 7:56 p.m., will originate at Atlantic Terminal at 7:10 p.m. Customers from Penn Station can connect with this train by boarding the 7:08 p.m. Babylon Branch train and changing at Jamaica.

Long Beach Branch

The 8:03 a.m. train from Long Beach, making all local stops to Lynbrook before running express to Penn Station, will add a stop at Jamaica to allow for connecting service to Penn Station, then will continue to East New York, Nostrand Avenue and Atlantic Terminal, where it will arrive at 8:54 a.m.

The LIRR will add two cars to the 8:08 a.m. train from Long Beach, making all local stops to Valley Stream, then Jamaica, Woodside, and Penn Station. The train will be lengthened to 12 cars from the usual 10, adding more than 200 seats.

Port Jefferson Branch

The 5:06 p.m. train from Penn Station, which runs express to Syosset then stops at Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington, will not operate. Customers will be able to board the 5:17 p.m. train from Penn Station, which runs express to Westbury, then stops at Hicksville, Syosset, Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington.

Port Washington Branch

The LIRR will add a new afternoon train departing Penn Station at 3:40 p.m., stopping at Woodside, then making all stops to Great Neck, where it will arrive at 4:15 p.m.

The 5:50 p.m. train from Penn Station, which runs express to Bayside, then stops at Douglaston, Little Neck and Great Neck, will not operate. Customers will be able to board the 5:56 p.m. train from Penn Station, which makes all local stops to Great Neck. The 5:56 p.m. train will have four cars added, lengthening the train to 12 cars from the usual eight, adding more than 400 seats.

The LIRR will add two cars to the 7:27 p.m. train from Penn Station, due into Port Washington at 8:04 p.m., lengthening the train to 12 cars from the usual 10, adding more than 200 seats.

Ronkonkoma Branch

The LIRR will add a new early morning train departing Farmingdale at 5:05 a.m. making local stops along the Main Line, and arriving at Penn Station at 6:00 a.m.

The LIRR will add a new early afternoon train departing Penn Station at 1:49 p.m., then stopping at Woodside, Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville, Bethpage, and all stops to Ronkonkoma, where it will arrive at 3:07 p.m.

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AMTRAK

Amtrak also is making changes including cancelling two trains between New York and Washington D.C. More at Amtrak.com.

- Amtrak is cancelling Northeast Regional Trains 110 from Washington, D.C. (WAS) to New York Penn Station (NYP) and 127 from NYP to WAS - Northbound Keystone Train 640 will terminate at Newark Penn Station - Southbound Keystone Train 643 will originate at Newark Penn Station - Southbound Train 173 will stop at Newark Airport - Southbound Trains 129, 193 and 653 will all have earlier departure times. - Train 170 will also depart WAS early, stop at North Philadelphia and Cornwells Heights and resume its schedule from Trenton