Friday, October 14, 2011

The Never Ending Story: Delays Plague Northeast Corridor Over Power Problems

Amtrak and NJ Transit have a broken record. It's called power problems on the Northeast Corridor causing extensive delays in and out of New York's Penn Station due to issues at the Hudson River tunnels.

And it's happened again. There are 30-60 minute delays or more along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Lines and Midtown Direct service is going to Hoboken.

This is a problem that happens so frequently, it's almost better to recognize the few days where there aren't delays than to focus on the days when delays occur due to issues with the power systems that constantly break down or malfunction.

Building new Hudson River tunnels wont fix the problem. Replacing and modernizing the power systems throughout the region would. That's still an ongoing problem and the replacement and modernization is occurring in a piecemeal fashion and will take years before everything gets updated. The ongoing failure to maintain and upgrade services throughout the years has left the system dangerously close to collapse. Grafting a new tunnel onto the existing infrastructure will only give a veneer of improvement, but the power systems have to be improved or else the contemplated tunnels will not have the intended benefits.

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