New York's Penn Station's "Summer of Hell" to begin

NEW  YORK -- Governor Andrew Cuomo calls it the "Summer of Hell" -- and it begins first thing Monday morning for commuters at one of the world's busiest transportation hubs.

Penn Station is finally undergoing much-needed repairs. A train derailment Thursday night was the third in recent months at North America's busiest transit hub. Penn Station commuters have also weathered a raw sewage leak.  

Now, extensive track work means more misery.   


New York's Penn Station will be undergoing repairs starting on July 10, 2017, leading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call it the "Summer of Hell."

CBS News

"Some have labeled it the 'Summer of Hell" -- the way we look at it is it's a summer of renewal for the station, and Amtrak's efforts to make it far more functional and reliable in the future," said Amtrak CEO Charles "Wick" Moorrman. 

Moorman says the project will last 8 weeks.

"The track work's extraordinarily complex, trains are running around you 24/7, you can't go up because of the wires. You know it's just a very difficult work environment," Moorman said. 


The scene at New York's Penn Station.

CBS News

Crews have already started the work, but to finish it, three to five of the station's 21 tracks have to be shutdown until September 1, forcing Amtrak to cancel three daily trains to and from Washington and re-route several others -- some through Grand Central, located on the other side of town. 

The Long Island Rail Road also will cancel some trains. Riders are being encouraged to use buses, ferries and the subway.

"For me there's no other option -- I'm not going to divert my trip," said Long Island commuter Stephanie Hardy. "I can't. It makes no sense for me."


Penn Station sees 600,000 people pass through it on a normal weekday.

CBS News

Some commuters are giving up on public transportation for the rest of the summer.

"The best thing you can do is probably drive," one commuter said.

The true test comes Monday morning. On a normal day, Penn Station sees 600,000 passengers.