NewsLocal NewsNew Jersey


Gov. Christie blasts Amtrak for response to post-Penn Station derailment troubles

Posted at 5:59 AM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 06:00:34-04

Governor Chris Christie is considering taking legal action against Amtrak calling this mess entirely unacceptable and that it doesn't take its obligations to passengers seriously.

In a scathing letter to Amtrak overnight, Christie ordered NJ Transit to stop all payments to the railroad because of this week's commuter nightmare. Christie says the state will stop paying Amtrak until there's a "thorough and independent examination of the tracks, signals, switches and equipment maintained by Amtrak."

Early indications are that Amtrak's aging rails are the culprit for Monday's derailment that caused considerable damage and considerable anger among commuters – just ten days after the previous one there.

On Wednesday night, the head of the NJ Transit toured the around the clock track work being done by Amtrak with the goal of getting everything back on track by Friday.

"There are people getting up extra early," said Mark Epstein, a commuter advocate said. "Its a disruption for riders and economy of Long Island and New York. This is not right. They have to deal with this."

"I'm frustrated this should be fixed," said Lynn Mendelsohn, a commuter. "Its taken so long I'm taking bus for last few days."

Amtrak responded to criticisms saying they'll continue to work with the LIRR and NJ Transit to ensure "adequate work windows and funding are available to keep these heavily used and aged assets functioning reliably as we pursue the long-term goal of modernizing Penn Station infrastructure."