No One Was Seriously Injured...this time…
This is a story uncovering why a collision occurred at Penn Station March 24th of last year, 2017.
The collision was between an Amtrak train and New Jersey Transit train within Penn Station. No one was hurt but this seems to be the first of many problems; a problem that shouldn’t occur especially when considering the slow speed of the trains and all trains were with in their designated tracks.
From our conversation with Greg Lindsay and research there seems to be no immediate proposal to overhaul Penn Station at the platform level. With derailments and deaths due to people falling onto the tracks it comes into question: why are more immediate things not being done? There is funding but as ABC New stated “some New York state lawmakers want to withhold millions of dollars of funding from Penn Station until Amtrak resolves chronic commuter train delays at the busy New York City train facility.” Some of these delays are due to the collisions like the one described above, so funding would prevent further incidents with the repair the platform level. The statement reveals a level of government idiocracy.
Many like Greg Lindsay are extremely fed up with what is taking hold at Penn Station or lack thereof, which is why some have abandoned all hopes for the station. Greg’s following statement reveals a layer of politics getting in the way of the station’s revival.
“Yeah, my  with Penn Station is that I don’t really see a new way out without the new tunnel. The failure gave way to[Chris] Christie cancellation, followed by the Trump Administration refusal to fund the handshake agreement that they had with the Obama Administration sort of puts it into terminal crisis.”
This Friday, we have an interview with AECOM’s Bryce Hejtmancik, who is a part of the team responsible for a new cooperation proposal between Amtrak, LIRR, and NJT. This interview will help shed light on why collisions occur between the separate players at Penn Station. Maybe some level of optimism will arrive from the discussion.
We hope that with mapping of the platform level, tracks, alignments and the like, we will begin to understand the spatial relationships. From this analysis we can map the causes of collisions within the station and possibly how to prevent them. The mapping placed in conversation with other research such as our interviews, will increase the transparency of the situation. Are the systems’ inability to cooperate, government idiocracy, or both that is getting in the way of Penn Station’s much needed revival? What is causing accidents such as the one that took place March 24th? How can it be prevented?
New York City has the best public transportation system in the country, but it brings people in and out of Manhattan, which is a limitation for people living in the region and is the main reason for overcrowded within Manhattan.
New Jersey Transit(Orange Line), terminating at Penn Station. Long Island Railroad(Red Line), also terminating at Penn Station. In this context, even Penn Station has the capability to be an efficient through station, it is under-utilized as a terminal for both NJ Tansit and LIRR, which creating inefficiencies.
The call-out is showing MTA, NJ Transit and AMTRAK, three groups are operating the tracks and these tracks are usually competing with each other, which cause delay and cost more in maintenance.
Besides, another layer is 100 year flood zone, although not directly impact the station, showing that Penn Station is under the threat of heavy raining and flash flood issue.