NJ To Amtrak: No More Money Until Rails Are Up To Snuff

Moorman said the derailment was caused by defective wood ties on the railroad tracks.

NJ Transit Executive Director Steven H. Santoro says customers are "beyond frustrated with the havoc that has been wreaked upon their lives".

"We will continue to work with our partners at LIRR and NJ Transit to ensure that adequate work windows and funding are available to keep these heavily-used and aged assets functioning reliably as we pursue the long term goal of modernizing Penn Station infrastructure", Moor said.

Moorman assured that full service would be restored Friday morning.

"While safety is our number one priority we also want to prevent service disruptions - similar to those that recently occurred at the station due to train derailments - which impact commuters along the busiest passenger rail corridors in the nation", Willis said.

Moorman said Thursday he would begin personally reviewing infrastructure at all Amtrak stations as the company seeks to prevent future derailments. However, he said he hasn't coordinated that yet with Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman.

Since Monday, only two lines - the North Jersey Coast Line and Northeast Corridor - have operated out of Penn Station, on an expanded holiday schedule.

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"We are committed to make sure this doesn't happen again", Moorland said during a news conference in Manhattan.

NJ Transit said that its senior management was at the NY and Newark stations to speak with passengers as per order of the governor, and will be back out for the afternoon commute.

"The second derailment with a New Jersey transit train on Monday morning was the result of the gauge of the rails widening because there were weak timbers underneath it".

Amtrak says problems with its tracks were the cause of both this week's derailment and last month's derailment of an Acela Express train.

The governor also directed the state's attorney general to consider taking legal action to recover the $62 million and other past payments New Jersey has made to Amtrak.

Moorman said that investigators determined that the March 24 incident was caused by a mismatch between two pieces of rail that are connected together in a curve. The move comes almost a week after an NJ Transit train derailed at the NY transit hub, injuring five people and diminishing capacity.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie sent a letter to Amtrak's board chairman saying NJ Transit would withhold payments to Amtrak until an independent inspection verifies its Northeast Corridor is in "a state-of-good fix". His decision in 2010 to cancel the ARC tunnel project, a new rail line linking New Jersey and NY, has been a constant source of criticism that has only heightened in instances of gridlock and commuter frustration. The passage, damaged during Hurricane Sandy, must be closed for a complete overhaul, and has less than 20 years of serviceable use, Amtrak has said.

  • Darren Santiago