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Infrastructure Renewal @ NYP (7/7 – 7/9) from Amtrak Media on Vimeo.

As Penn Station‘s “Summer of Hell” continues in New York City, Amtrak has updates for New Yorkers inconvenienced by the closures and construction. Last weekend, from July 7-9, Amtrak made significant progress on its series of major track and switch improvement projects, which upon completion, will improve reliability and operations at Penn Station. To see the progress happening right before your eyes, check out Amtrak’s time-lapse video of last weekend’s work!

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

The video is not only exciting for New Yorkers whose commutes are affected by Penn Station’s infrastructure renewal project, but anyone who has always wanted a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes on during track work in general. The video shows Amtrak employees moving from place to place, laying down new track infrastructure and moving giant equipment, as cranes lift panels weighing tons and trains zoom by in the background. The neon orange of their uniforms combines with the dark colors and bright lights of the surrounding track to create quite surreal images.

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

The work is part of Phase I (July 7-26) of Amtrak’s infrastructure renewal project. Specifically, last weekend, Amtrak replaced the 69A and 69B switches, completed preparatory work for further infrastructure replacements, and removed the old rail and third rail on track 10.

Image via Amtrak

In general, Phase I consists of the demolition, removal, and renewal of the 69A and 69B switches and the removal of the switch points and stock rail for the core scissors. Amtrak is also going to disassemble the signal system controlling the switches and implement new switch machines. The totality of this work requires the movement of specialized track pieces in and out of the area to bring in materials that cannot be stored on site due to limited space.

View Amtrak’s weekly progress report here.

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

The platform 10 track renewal will take up the entirety of the shutdown period, in which Amtrak forces will remove all rail, third rail, cables, and signal system apparatus and start demolishing the concrete roadbed. All of this will require the disposal of 100 cubic yards of concrete!

Afterwards, the new forms will be implemented, and concrete trucks will be loaded outside of Penn Station and brought on-rail through the “Empire Tunnel” to allow for the efficient pouring of concrete. This further requires the shut down of the track, along with the adjacent one, which will hold the trucks.

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Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman describing the updates. 

The renewal work is planned to continue until September 3rd, and during this time, over 360 Amtrak engineering employees will be working 24/7 on the “A interlocking,” a crucial section of track and switches connecting New Jersey’s North River Tunnel to Penn Station’s 21 tracks, supporting the movement of the more than 1,300 trains moving in and out of Penn Station on the daily.

“This is complex work, that requires a skilled labor force working together to do it correctly, efficiently, and most important, safely,” said Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman in the above video.

Image via Amtrak

Image via Amtrak

While the work is far from complete, New Yorkers can rest assured that Amtrak has announced that it’s on schedule with last weekend’s projects. And the meantime, you can enjoy photos and another time-lapse video of their progress here. Hopefully, they make you optimistic that commutes will soon improve and give you a new appreciation for the magnitude and tediousness of the work occurring around the clock this summer.

Check out our upcoming dates for our Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station!

 Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

Next, read about the new remnants of Penn Station we found in a parking lot and The Top 10 Secrets of the Original Pennsylvania Station in NYC

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