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Officials: Penn Station Work To Close 3 Tracks At A Time

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Amtrak officials are giving some more details about extensive repair work to Penn Station that is expected to inconvenience thousands of rail commuters this summer.

They say three tracks at a time will be closed so that rails, switches and other aging equipment can be replaced.

It's not yet known how train schedules will be affected since final details haven't been released. Amtrak has been negotiating with the Long Island Rail Road and NJ TRANSIT, which combine to carry hundreds of thousands of people into and out of the station each weekday.

Multiple derailments over the last several weeks, power failures, signal problems and other issues at Penn have pushed Amtrak to begin replacing aging tracks and other equipment at the station.

This week, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a plan that would divert some of NJ TRANSIT's lines to Hoboken. He also announced an agreement that has been reached between Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT which limits the impact on riders.

"For three quarters of the NJ TRANSIT customers, travel patterns will not be modified in any way," he said.

Only the Morris and Essex Line's Midtown Direct service will be affected by the work from July through Labor Day, Christie announced Tuesday. Those lines will end in Hoboken.

Meanwhile, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Amtrak told him it will reduce LIRR rush hour trains by 20 percent.

"If you reduce trains coming into Penn by 20 percent, it will be a summer of hell," Cuomo said.

The governor suggested that Amtrak and President Donald Trump turn Penn Station over to him to fix, renovate and run.

"This is not about politics. It's not about partisanship," Cuomo said.

Amtrak said it plans to bring in an outside firm and more staff members to help with the summer track repairs.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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