MIDTOWN, Manhattan — A brutal Tuesday morning commute for virtually all of the Long Island Railroad's 301,000 commuters had the residual effect of a delayed evening commute as well, underscoring the shortcomings in the entire rail system that operates out of Penn Station.
On Tuesday evening, Amtrak, which operates all of the rail lines at Penn Station, announced that it will be shutting down at least a half dozen of its regularly scheduled trains this summer in order to free up rail lines so repair crews can try to fix a recurring problem of delays.
In the wake of a morning commute that left at least two LIRR trains stuck on tracks for hours and dozens more LIRR trains delayed by up to two hours, Amtrak released this statement:
"The following service adjustments have been made to Amtrak’s weekday schedule, in effect from July 10 – Sept. 1:
- Acela Express: No changes
- Northeast Regional Service: Three round trip trains (six total trains) between New York City and Washington, D.C. canceled. Service between New York City and Boston will operate at currently scheduled levels.
- Keystone Service: Three round trip trains (six total trains) will start and end in Philadelphia, and one round trip train (two total trains) will start and end at Newark, New Jersey. Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg will operate at currently scheduled levels.
- Empire Service: To be announced shortly.
- Long-Distance Service: The Crescent, operating between New York City and New Orleans, will originate and terminate in Washington, D.C. daily during work period. Connections will be provided on other Northeast Corridor trains."
LIRR trains, like all of those which operate out of Penn Station, ride on Amtrak tracks. The LIRR said the severe delays experienced on Tuesday morning were due to a third-rail failure on Amtrak tracks.
The evening commute featured delays of up to a half hour.
There are currently no indications that Wednesday morning's commute will be compromised.