LIRR tracks not included in Amtrak's summer work at Penn Station

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Amtrak's plans to perform repair work at Penn Station this summer will not include any repairs to Long Island Rail Road tracks, MTA officials say.

The news is a blow for LIRR riders who have been frustrated by a spate of service disruptions and delays stemming out of Penn Station, which is owned and operated by Amtrak.

Additional delays and service impacts are expected for LIRR riders this summer, as Amtrak begins its planned railway improvement project. Newsday transit reporter Alfonso Castillo says while LIRR riders will have to deal with the fallout, the project is actually designed to fix issues for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak lines.

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Castillo toured the work area Thursday with officials from Amtrak, who said that the LIRR will have to share some of its lines with NJ Transit and Amtrak while the work is being completed. 

The news prompted state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) to tweet his disbelief.

There have been calls from lawmakers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for Amtrak to relinquish control of Penn Station to the state. But Castillo says at least in the short term, that is likely a difficult proposition.

“They haven't sounded open to that idea, whether it’s something that could change down the line,” Castillo says.

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