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NJ TRANSIT, LIRR, Amtrak Service Snarled During Evening Commute Due To Signal Problems At Penn Station

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- In what's becoming an all too familiar occurrence, commuters at Penn Station dealt with significant delays and cancellations at the height of the Wednesday evening rush.

"How frustrated am I? I don't want to live in New York anymore," one man told CBS2's Andrea Grymes.

Frustration doesn't even begin to cut it anymore for riders desperately trying to get out of Penn Station.

"It's a long day and you just want to get home," another woman said.

That's just what Dominick Correale of Floral Park was trying to do.

"We need the governor and the senators and people in office to come down here and be a part of this," he told CBS2. "Commute with us. Put them on a train."

"Typical," Inwood resident Kathy Giordonello said. "This is what we pay for, increased fares and less service."

Penn Station became a nightmare during the evening commute for the third straight night, with Long Island Rail Road riders getting it the worst this time.

A signal problem into the East River Tunnel -- then a disabled train -- shut down westbound LIRR service into Penn. Out of Penn, only limited service was running on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, and Ronkonkoma branches.

Check: LIRR

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority advised customers traveling to Hempstead, Long Beach, Far Rockaway, and West Hempstead to take the subway to Atlantic Terminal for LIRR service.

Additionally, MTA police temporarily restricted access to Penn Station at the entrance on 34th Street and 7th Avenue due to excessive crowding conditions as throngs of people streamed through doorways when tracks were called.

"A poor elderly woman was almost crushed because of the mismanagement of the LIRR," one man told CBS2.

Penn Station Gates Closed
Gates are closed at Penn Station on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Credit: CBS2)


Adding insult to injury, NJ TRANSIT reported trains in to and out of Penn Station were subject to delays of up to 60 minutes due to an Amtrak signal problem during the evening rush. Delays of 45 minutes persisted as late as 6:45 p.m.

NJ TRANSIT service resumed on or close to schedule with residual delays to trains already en-route to Penn Station just after 8:00 p.m.

Amtrak trains were also subject to delays of up to 30 minutes in to and out of New York due to the same signal problems.

Frustrated commuters tweeted pictures of the growing number of passengers gathered in LIRR waiting areas.


"This governor, all the money we're giving him for taxes, and he's doing tuition and the bridges and renovating cars and posting signs on highways," one man said. "He can't take care of this?"

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo reiterated that the federal government owns Penn Station -- Amtrak is the landlord, making the LIRR merely a tenant.

"I don't have the authority to do anything at Penn Station, so I am as frustrated as the riders are. Even more so," Cuomo said. "I am as disgusted as they are and have communicated that to Amtrak a number of times."

There have been service disruptions during the evening commute at Penn Station every night this week so far, and several problems over the last few months especially -- from leaking ceilings to derailments to switch problems.

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