Amtrak on derailment: ‘Clearly we got it wrong’
Amtrak revealed Thursday that it knew about track problems at Penn Station before Monday's derailment that complicated commutes for Long Island Rail Road riders all week.
The LIRR again had to again reduce service Thursday evening, canceling 16 trains and diverting eight others. The LIRR expects to restore full service for the Friday morning rush.
Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman apologized for the disruptions.
Moorman says the derailment Monday occurred when the train went over wooden ties that he says were known to be weak but were not scheduled for immediate repair.
"We had notations that these timbers needed to be replaced," says Moorman. "We clearly didn't have the understanding that there was an imminent failure. Clearly that was something where we got it wrong."
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council today issued a statement blasting Amtrak.
"Defects like those that led to the two recent Penn Station derailments directly threaten the lives, safety and careers of Long Island commuters," said the statement. It goes on to say, "Amtrak owes it to LIRR riders to comprehensively inspect all Amtrak facilities used by the LIRR and confirm that no critical safety issues are present. If any such issues are discovered - they must be remedied immediately."
Monday's derailment was the second one at Penn Station in the past two weeks.