If you live near New York City, then today marks the beginning of the “Summer of Hell”.
The “Summer of Hell” refers to the reconstruction of the railroad tracks at Penn Station New York and its impact on as many as 2 million commuters, which includes most travelers in the metro NYC area.
As I write this the whirl of traffic helicopters buzz the skies of Long Island looking for crowds of commuters waiting for trains.
Penn Station, which is owned and maintained by Amtrak, is the busiest transit hub in the western hemisphere, receiving well over half a million people each day alone.
Yet no one has looked at the economic impact of doing this project, not that there is a choice in the matter since all 21 tracks in the station as well as the tracks leading to the station from both the Queens and New Jersey sides need to replaced with new footings.
This project is design to stop the weekly derailments that are occurring as tracks slide out from their moorings in the muck and detritus that they currently sit on.
The delays and cancellations on the Long Island Rail Road alone cost the region $60 million in lost productivity in 2016, according to a report from New York’s state comptroller.
I hesitated to write about something so parochial as my commute, but there 2 million of us trying to get to work and it won’t be easy. I’ll let you know what I find.