Photo of NJT Departure Councourse at NY Penn
NJT Riders Await Their Trains at NY Penn

As NJT commuters brace for a summer of diverted trains and longer commutes (see story below), service continues to deteriorate in advance of Amtrak's plans to fix infrastructure problems at New York Penn Station.  Pending the repair work, Amtrak required trains using the west end of Penn Station -- including all NJT trains serving New York -- to observe a reduced speed limit of 10 mph, down from the usual 15 mph. This, NJT said, was one factor in delays at NY Penn; the railroad continued to warn riders of possible delays for all trains into and out of the busy station. In May, according to reporting by Larry Higgs for NJ Advance Media (and printed in the Star-Ledger, June 16), only 46% of NJT trains into Penn in the morning were on time, which, according to Higgs, may be the worst performance in NJT's history.  NJT Executive Director Steve Santoro blamed the Amtrak infrastructure problems, saying "I don't believe it's been that low for an extended time. The obvious reason is the performance is based on the Amtrak repairs that are ongoing at Penn Station."  The performance was better in the evening rush; Santoro said that's because the trains are more spaced out in the evening.  NJT has requested that Amtrak remove the speed reduction, but so far Amtrak has only done so for the eastern approaches to the station, which NJT only uses for some empty trains.