WASHINGTON — Major Amtrak track work at New York’s Penn Station is reducing service in and out of D.C.’s Union Station through the end of August.
The long-deferred track work cuts four daily weekday trains in each direction between D.C. and New York, but it maintains all scheduled Acela Express service.
Schedules have been updated to reflect the three canceled Northeast Regional trains. It also reflects changes to the Crescent service running to and from New Orleans: That service will end in D.C. rather than New York City during the work.
Amtrak was pressed into doing the stopgap work between July 10 and Sept. 1 after a pair of derailments in New York exposed major problems. (Another New Jersey Transit train derailed Thursday night. No one was hurt in that incident.)
The long-term work zone to rebuild a key set of switches that route trains from one track to another is similar to Metro’s efforts to address long-deferred work, but it focuses only on one small part of the aging Northeast Corridor.
During the work, New York City area commuters will face major delays due to significant reductions in commuter rail service on New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad. About one out of every five commuter trains will be canceled or stop before reaching Manhattan.
Amtrak owns and operates the station, which normally serves more than 650,000 riders per day — not including the trips taken to or from one of the two subway stops connected to the station.
Some commuters are preparing for a “summer of hell,” given separate recurring problems with New York’s heavily used subway system. But they are resigned to using even delayed trains, buses or ferries given the even-longer delays they’d face in many of the region’s regular traffic jams.
Less-disruptive track work will continue near Penn Station into 2018, Amtrak said.