Most East Coast passenger and freight rail service returning to normal

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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Outside of the New York Metropolitan area, passenger and freight rail service is returning to normal operation with residual delays.

Service has been restored on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority systems.

The Maryland Transit Administration restored service to its subway system on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and light rail crews are reinstalling the at-grade crossing gate arms that were removed due to the high winds in order for light rail and MARC trains to return to service on Oct. 31.

Amtrak will provide modified Northeast Regional service between Newark, N.J., and points south, on Wednesday, October 31, including restoring Virginia service to Lynchburg, Richmond and Newport News. Amtrak will also operate Keystone Service trains between Harrisburg, Pa., and Philadelphia and modified Downeaster service trains between Boston and Portland, Maine.

Amtrak is working to remove water and make repairs to track, signal and power systems within its tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers. Until this is complete, service to/from New York Penn Station, Northeast Regional service between Newark and Boston and Acela Express service remains suspended.

The amount of water intrusion into the tunnels is unprecedented – as was the storm itself – so a date for restoration of Amtrak service directly to/from New York Penn Station from either the north or south is not available at this time.

Also canceled on Wednesday, October 31, is the Empire Service between New York City and Buffalo/Niagara Falls, the Adirondack to and from Montreal, Québec, Canada, and the Ethan Allen Express to and from Rutland, Vt., due to track damage south of Albany-Rensselaer, N.Y.

Freight rail providers are resuming where service is deemed safe and where customers are available for delivery. Norfolk Southern service is being reintroduced into lightly impacted areas today and tomorrow, while heavily impacted areas could experience start up delays extending through the end of the week.

CSX has completed inspections of its tracks and is restoring service in the region impacted by Sandy with the exception of lines between Philadelphia and Albany, N.Y. Portions of those lines remain affected by high water, downed trees and commercial power outages.

CSX crews will continue recovery efforts between Philadelphia and Albany as service slowly resumes in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

Categories: C&S, Class 1, Commuter/Regional, Intercity, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training