Streams

Train Tracks in East River Tunnels to Be Replaced

Monday, September 26, 2011

WNYC
LIRR commuters arrive at Penn Station early Wednesday morning (Jim O'Grady)

The train tracks under the East River that support hundreds of Long Island Railroad cars daily will be replaced during a $48 million job that begins next month as the result of what officials said were "significant water drainage issues."

The East River tunnels connect Penn Station to Long Island and to Amtrak's Sunnyside yards. Amtrak, which owns the tracks, also uses the tunnels to shuttles trains from Penn Station to its Queens rail yards.

Last spring, a broken rail in the yards led to a week's worth of delays.

Officials said that after the rail was repaired, inspections found more serious problems will replace all four sets of tracks under the East River as a result. 

The work will begin next month and take place on weekends. The MTA is vowing service won't be interrupted, but the authority said the "critical" tunnel work will cause delays on the East Side Access project, a major new project that will connect LIRR trains to Grand Central station.

The cost of the project is being shared by Amtrak and the MTA.

Read more on Transportation Nation, a site that combines the work of public radio newsrooms and our listeners as the way we build, rebuild and get around the nation changes.

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