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Port Authority: 24-Hour PATH Service Could Resume Next Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Around-the-clock PATH train service could resume in as little as a week, according to a release from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

In order to expedite the process, there will be no weekend service from Newark to 33rd Street via Hoboken so crews can make repairs with the third rail turned off.

Crews can work much faster with the main power running, the Port Authority said.

The Newark to World Trade Center line will run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. over the weekend, making stops at Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Exchange Place.

To accommodate travelers during the weekend service disruption, the Port Authority will provide free shuttle buses at the Hoboken and Newport PATH stations, which will bring passengers to Grove Street. The loop between Newport and Grove Street will run every five minutes or less, with service every 15 minutes between Hoboken and Grove Street, the agency announced.

The change to weekend service could mean a return to 24-hour service in seven to ten days, according to the Port Authority.

There was 24-hour service on PATH trains over New Year's, but otherwise has been running on a modified schedule since superstorm Sandy hit at the end of October. The first PATH train didn't roll out of the station for nearly a month after Sandy hit.

According to the agency, weekend service suspension has given PATH crews 48 hours or more of uninterrupted work time, which has been helping to shave several days off of the recovery schedule for round-the-clock service.

The PATH system suffered enormous damage in Sandy and the ensuing storm surge. Salt water that poured into the Hoboken tunnels shorted out electrical systems and corroded decades-old equipment, rendering much of it inoperable, according to the release.

Crews first had to pump water from PATH stations and connecting tunnels. Once the power was restored and the water removed, crews were then able to assess the massive damage suffered and remove destroyed equipment.

Thousands of wires to signals and switching equipment required replacement, with each individual wire undergoing subsequent safety testing.

Are you satisfied with the recovery effort to get PATH service back to normal? Please share your comments below...

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