Amtrak to re-open three tunnels to Penn Station - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Amtrak to re-open three tunnels to Penn Station

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There is some good news for commuters who have been packed onto trains, if they could get on them, into and out of New York Penn Station.

Amtrak expects to re-open three tunnels to Penn Station by the end of Friday night.

It will help expand train service north, south and west of New York City.

Four tunnels under the Hudson and East Rivers were flooded during Hurricane Sandy.

Crews were able to pump out one Hudson River tunnel by Oct. 31.  This allowed limited service into the city on Northeast Corridor trains.

The clearing of the North Tube under the Hudson River will allow expanded Amtrak and New Jersey Transit commuter rail service in and out of New York City.

The two Hudson River tunnels will operate at about 63 percent capacity, according to Amtrak.  That is double the current capacity of about 12 trains an hour.  A normal peak capacity is 38 trains an hour.

Service can not be raised to 100 percent because of significant flooding damage at a key electrical substation located near Kearney, N.J.  Amtrak is able to bypass the substation but because power now has to travel a longer distance, the number of trains allowed to take power is restricted to avoid overheating.

In addition to the Hudson River tunnel, two East River tunnels will open.  The will support more Northeast Corridor service north of New York and Empire Service to Albany.

Those tunnels will operate at 80 percent capacity as repairs continue.

Two other East River tunnels did not flood and have been operating at 100 percent capacity.

NJ Transit announced on Friday that it would resume limited service between Port Jervis and Secaucus Jct. with connecting service to New York Penn Station.

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