Penn Station Inspections Reveal Variety of Hazards on Tracks

  • FRA jointly conducted inspections with Amtrak after derailment
  • Inspectors discovered loose or missing track equipment

Penn Station Problems Confront Trump Infrastructure Czar

Inspections of the 21 railroad tracks at New York’s Pennsylvania Station after two derailments in two months revealed a profusion of equipment in need of immediate repairs, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

The agency discovered loose or missing track clamps, bolts or braces, as well as insufficient fasteners in track segment or rail joints, according to a statement released Friday by the administration.

In March and April, two derailments at Penn Station upended commuter travel for days. Between April 6 and April 26, FRA, Amtrak and New York state inspectors jointly conducted 23 surveys. 

Amtrak “took immediate and appropriate actions to repair or mitigate these risks or institute remedial actions until proper repairs could be made. In a majority of cases the remedial action called for the track speed to be lowered from 15 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour,” according to the FRA statement.

The lower speed limits have been a factor in daily delays this week as trains stack up awaiting limited access to the station.

“The FRA concurs with Amtrak’s assessment that immediate and comprehensive track maintenance and repair efforts are needed at Penn Station to avoid further potential track related disruptions,” the statement said.

In an emailed statement, Christina Leeds, an Amtrak spokeswoman, said any remaining issues “will be addressed in the coming weeks during normal maintenance schedules.”

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