Commuter Rail Heads Slam Amtrak Over Derailments

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -

The heads of the two major commuter rail lines that use Penn Station took turns criticizing Amtrak on Wednesday for two recent derailments that continued to cause headaches for commuters in the nation’s busiest rail hub.

With the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit still operating on abbreviated schedules Wednesday evening — and bearing the brunt of criticism from angry riders — their directors took aim at Amtrak, which owns and operates the tracks, signals and switches in the station complex.

Riders are “beyond frustrated at the havoc that has been wreaked upon their lives,” NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro said. “It is Amtrak’s responsibility to take immediate action.”

In a letter to Amtrak, acting MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer said the problems “leave the clear impression that Amtrak is not aggressively maintaining its tracks, switches and related equipment.”