LIRR mulls suing Amtrak over Penn Station derailments

The Long Island Rail Road is considering filing a lawsuit against Amtrak after two Penn Station derailments that happened within 11 days of each other led to long delays for commuters. The Long Island Rail Road is considering filing a lawsuit against Amtrak after two Penn Station derailments that happened within 11 days of each other led to long delays for commuters.
WOODBURY -

The Long Island Rail Road is considering filing a lawsuit against Amtrak after two Penn Station derailments that happened within 11 days of each other led to long delays for commuters.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board member Mitch Pally says it is time for the agency to take over Penn Station from Amtrak.

"We are forced to share some of our facilities with two other entities who have clearly shown in the last couple of weeks that they can't maintain their facilities," Pally says.

An Amtrak spokesperson tells News 12 that while they understand the frustration, talk of lawsuits or speculation about changing ownership will not solve any problems.

"We are putting together plans to strengthen the state of the infrastructure at Penn and what is needed now is the cooperation and focus of our partners LIRR and NJ Transit," the spokesperson adds.

Other MTA Board members like Charles Moerdler say a satisfactory outcome may require more than legal action, suggesting that it may require the state to condemn Penn Station.

While railroad officials say they are considering their legal options, the LIRR's general counsel and vice president say they have spent a couple of weeks going through what they say is a tough agreement regarding Penn Station. They say it is slanted in Amtrak's favor as the owner of the facility; the MTA and LIRR are just tenants.

The most recent derailment on April 3 damaged the track, switches and signals used by the LIRR, forcing delays and cancellations for days. A week before that, a New Jersey Transit train collided with an Amtrak train at Penn Station.

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