Governors want 'verification' of Penn Station track safety

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 5, 2017, file photo provided by Amtrak, workers repair rails inside New York's Penn Station. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, April 10, they want "independent verification" of track safety at New York's Penn Station, citing recent train derailments and service disruptions. (Chuck Gomez/Amtrak via AP, File)

The governors of New Jersey and New York say they want "independent verification" of track safety at New York's Penn Station, citing recent train derailments and service disruptions

TRENTON, N.J. — The governors of New Jersey and New York say they want "independent verification" of track safety at New York's Penn Station, citing recent train derailments and serious service disruptions.

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the request in a letter sent on Monday to the heads of Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration.

They noted the agencies are reviewing Amtrak's infrastructure and maintenance protocols. But they said their states haven't been invited to take part in the assessment or in "the development of the needed response."

New York and New Jersey are the main users of Penn Station via the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit, with about 430,000 passengers each weekday.

Amtrak has said it and the FRA will assemble experts to study maintenance and efficiency issues and will involve the LIRR and NJ Transit.

"Amtrak is committed to improving the immediate conditions at Penn Station, while working with all our partners to address the lack of capacity and aging assets that threaten the reliable operation of the nation's busiest station," it said in an emailed statement.

It said a joint inspection of Penn Station it launched with the FRA and other railroad safety experts "will provide an independent assessment of the current conditions and recommendations for any needed improvements."

An April 3 derailment, the second in less than two weeks, wreaked havoc for hundreds of thousands of commuters and long-distance travelers on the Eastern Seaboard. Three cars in the middle of an inbound NJ Transit train dislodged from a track as it approached a platform.

The derailment, which damaged the track and a switch and knocked out service on eight of 21 tracks, apparently was unrelated to a March 24 incident in which an outbound Amtrak train left the tracks and scraped against an inbound NJ Transit train.

No serious injuries were reported in either derailment.

The FRA, the chief safety regulator for the rail industry, said proper infrastructure maintenance is critical to help ensure the safety of the traveling public.

It said the recent Penn Station derailments are under investigation and review and it will "conduct a thorough examination of the entire Penn Station infrastructure."

More Travel News

After bloodshed, NYC promises a safer J'ouvert festival

Sep 4, 2016

For years, there have been complaints about safety at J'ouvert (joo-VAY'), a big, joyous carnival celebrating Caribbean culture held before dawn each Labor Day on the streets of New York City

Peace but extreme poverty in isolated region of Afghanistan

Sep 7, 2016

The Wakhan corridor, which has been named Afghanistan's second national park, is the country's most _ perhaps only _ peaceful region

APNewsBreak: Legality of Yosemite park expansion disputed

Sep 10, 2016

A U.S. lawmaker says Yosemite National Park violated federal law by adding 400 acres to its boundary without clearing it through Congress

To travel is to live. Unearth your next travel destination here with The Travel Trooper. We love what we do and looking forward to more #travelsquad joining us in this journey.

Contact us: sales@thetraveltrooper.com