Crowded trains. Missed time with the kids. Navigating stations that seem ill-equipped to handle hordes of extra riders.
Those are some of the observations offered up by a group of commuters who agreed to help Newsday assess how well things were going during the “summer of hell.”
For the most part, their assessments were positive — likely reflecting the relative ease of the first week of the diversions and disruptions resulting from the summerlong repairs by Amtrak on a critical knot of tracks that lies at the western end of Penn Station. The work necessitates closing three of the 21 platform tracks at the nation’s busiest rail hub.
Officials with the Long Island Rail Road and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as well as Amtrak, have been also cautiously positive about the experience.
On a scale of 1 to 10, the panel of commuters gave the commuter railroad that serves as Long Island’s lifeline to New York City an average score of nearly 7 for how it handled the first of eight weeks of track outages at Penn.
But, to a person, they also worried that there would be bad days ahead, however heavenly its debut might have been.
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