Photo of NY Penn street entrance
Work at NY Penn Station is cause of the summer schedule changes.

Week one of NJT's summer work program service changes has passed; the chaos many predicted has not materialized, and according to reporting by Larry Higgs for NJ Advance Media, Amtrak is making good progress on its track work at New York Penn Station. According to Scot Napersteck, Amtrak Chief Operating Officer, "we're off to a very, very good start. We're a little bit ahead of where we expected to be in one week." The work has focused on the track switches that route trains coming through the two Hudson River "tubes" into and out of Penn Station's complex of 21 station tracks. According to Napersteck, two track switches have already been replaced, and two more have been dismantled and will be replaced the week of July 17.  Crews have also worked on "switch #89," the site of a recent NJT train derailment. The derailment was minor, but tied up service for hours.

While Morris & Essex Lines passengers continued to grumble about being forced to use Hoboken at most times on weekdays, another contingent has the opposite gripe, according to another article by Larry Higgs. Most commuters on NJT's North Jersey Coast line use New York Penn and continue to enjoy normal service.  But a few Coast Line trains normally go to and from  Hoboken, and these trains have been terminated at Newark Penn Station during the summer work program.  Riders who used those trains now have to transfer at Secaucus to reach Hoboken, or use PATH from Newark, and they're not happy about it. And while diverted M&E riders get a bargain 50% fare for the duration of the work, aggrieved Coast Line riders have not been offered reduced fares.