Midtown Direct rail line to be impacted by Amtrak work

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

The Morris and Essex Line's Midtown Direct service will be the only rail line affected during Amtrak’s summer improvement project.

Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday that an agreement had been reached between New Jersey Transit and Amtrak that will limit the effect on most commuters from this summer's planned work at New York's Penn Station.

Christie said that the Midtown Direct line will terminate in Hoboken, and riders will have to find alternate means to get into Manhattan.

The governor said that fares for riders on the Morris and Essex lines will be reduced by about at least half and that PATH trains and ferries will honor NJ Transit fares.

“It’s my opinion that we cannot be charging people the rates that we were charging them before for a Midtown Direct ticket when they have to stop in Hoboken and take another mode of transportation," Christie said.

He said riders on other lines shouldn't expect significant delays.

Christie also announced that Amtrak agreed to allow NJ Transit to inspect the work Amtrak is doing at Penn Station, and Amtrak must share any information that could affect service.

“We’re not trusting them any longer,” Christie said. “We are standing by their side, attached to their hip, to make sure what they say they’re doing, they’re actually doing.”

A legislative hearing has been called for next Wednesday to look into the arrangement with Amtrak.

Recent derailments and other problems at Penn Station have pushed Amtrak to begin replacing aging tracks and other equipment at the station, a critical stop on the Northeast Corridor.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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