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Long Islanders Call For Representation On Amtrak Board

Amtrak Owns LIRR Tunnels Under East River
LIRR trains (CBS 2)

LIRR trains (CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One delay after another for Long Island Rail Road riders is due to problems with Amtrak equipment, and Long Islanders now want a say in how Amtrak is run.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported Saturday, there are 300,000 LIRR riders who use the Amtrak East River tunnels, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this week that he wants a Long Islander on the Amtrak board.

He has asked President Barack Obama to tap New York State Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. (R-Massapequa) to fill a vacancy on the Amtrak board and give Long Islanders more say on the tunnels they use.

“So now is the time for the department of transportation to appoint a Long Islander because there’s a vacant spot on the board that needs to be filled,” Schumer said this week.

Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council chairman Mark Epstein said such a move is overdue.

“It is our hope that this will be the answer to our prayers, that we will have a voice from Long Island speaking on issues that affect Long Island,” he said.

Earlier this week, Schumer announced that he had brokered a deal to improve maintenance on the tunnels in and out of Penn Station, following discussions from Amtrak.

Amtrak owns the four tunnels that run under the East River, even though the tunnels do not carry Amtrak passengers.

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