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Repairs To Sandy-Damaged Hudson, East River Tunnels Could Cut Rail Service

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Four rail tunnels that carry trains in and out of New York City may have to be closed one at a time for at least a year to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Two of the four tubes of the East River train tunnel and both tubes of the Hudson River tunnel were inundated with floodwaters during the October 2012 storm, the New York Times reported.

Closing one of the four East River tunnels for repairs would cut Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak capacity by about 25 percent, WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported.

Repairs To Hudson, East River Tunnels Could Cut Rail Service

Hudson River traffic would have to squeeze onto one track, which would cut NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak capacity by about 75 percent if one of the tubes is shut down, according to a New York Times reported.

"The idea of removing one of those two tubes from service is almost unfathomable," said Amtrak spokesperson Craig Schulz.

NJ TRANSIT spokesperson Nancy Snyder said it's too early to talk about planning.

"Amtrak has shared some project information with us, it would be too early to tell what the impacts to New Jersey customers will be at this stage," Snyder told WCBS 880's Paul Murnane. "NJ TRANSIT together with Amtrak and MTA understand the need to work collaboratively."

Sandy's salty soup continues to affect track and signaling systems, as well as the concrete lining of the tubes.

Amtrak stresses there's a robust safety program watching for signs of danger.

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