New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s effort to require Amtrak to submit to an independent review as the rail carrier embarks on a massive inspection and repair process following two recent derailments at Penn Station.
Cuomo and Christie issued a joint letter Monday to CEO of Amtrak Charles Moorman and Executive Director of the Federal Railroad Administration Patrick Warren, saying they will require outside inspectors to conduct their own studies and will not accept Amtrak’s internal results alone.
“New York and New Jersey are requesting independent verification of track safety at Penn Station. Specifically, this comprehensive review should take into account the causes of recent failures at Penn Station and any needed changes to the processes by which routine maintenance and emergency repairs are performed,” the letter said.
“As you know, Penn Station is more than just a rail hub — it is a regional economic engine. The Long Island Rail Road carries 230,000 passengers through Penn Station every day. NJ Transit brings nearly 200,000 commuters to and from Manhattan every day. These riders, residents of our states, deserve safe and reliable rail service.”
On April 5, Christie notified Amtrak that New Jersey will halt all payments to Amtrak and called for an independent investigation into the causes of and work required to prevent more derailments and transit complications.
On the morning April 3, a slow moving NJ Transit train carrying 1,200 people derailed on Amtrak-owned tracks, forcing eight of Penn Station’s 21 tracks to be closed. The track closures resulted in several days of severe transit disruption for commuters throughout New York and its neighboring states.