Amtrak: Winter track work smaller but longer than summer repairs

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HICKSVILLE -

Amtrak says the upcoming winter track work at Penn Station will be smaller in scale than the summer repairs but may still affect Long Island Rail Road riders for months.

Amtrak's latest round of repairs is a $30 million project that could take up to three tracks out of service for almost five months. This summer’s work took about two months.

"It is a smaller scope and much more focused on single tracks, so we won't see the size of impacts to both the station as well as the service that customers would experience," Amtrak COO Scot Naparstek said by phone Wednesday.

During the summer, the LIRR added ferry and bus service to combat delays and train cancellations. This time around, the LIRR says it's too early to determine if it will add service alternatives.

Some commuters say the summer work wasn't too bad, all things considered, and they hope that continues this winter.

"I was very lucky in the summer, so I'm hoping that the same thing that happens in the summer happens in the winter, and it is not the winter of hell," says Diane DelPriore, of Hicksville.

Other rail riders say they are concerned about how the work may affect their already irritating commutes.

"There's always delays -- makes me very late for class, even when I leave two hours in advance," says Madeline Civallaro, also of Hicksville.

News 12 is told that Amtrak and the LIRR are working together to ensure there are minimal service disruptions, if any at all. The work is scheduled to begin Jan. 5.

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