Journalists Tour Bowels Of Penn Station As Commuters Wait For Answers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Detailed plans to end the nightmare at Penn Station are yet to be released, but a look at conditions exposed a complicated challenge.

CBS2’s Dave Carlin was taken beyond a ‘no trespassing’ sign for an eye opening look deep down in Penn Station where tracks look like a tangle of spaghetti.

It’s at the end of tracks 11 and 12 — which are the longest and most complicated for dispatchers and repair crews.

“The last time we did work here was 20, 25 years ago,” VP of Operations Mike DeCatalado said.

The fix being performed this summer after so much neglect is a logistical puzzle that could impact 20 percent of all trains at Penn Station — temporarily and confusingly diverting some to Grand Central Terminal, Hunters Point in Queens, Hoboken, New Jersey, and other places.

For week’s the public’s been promised specific details of the summer track work, and how it will impact trains.

“I just need to know what’s going to happen with LIRR, where is it going to be relocated, when can I get to my campus,” Mauricio Mendoza said.

Instead of getting those specifics, we get tours.

The latest one for the media came 13 days after New Jersey elected officials boarded a train with e a big observation window.

“We recognize the inconvenience this is going to cause all the customers of the railroad,” DeCataldo said.

But when will the public know how repairs will affect their commutes?

“We’re hoping sooner rather than later,” DeCataldo said.

Train dispatchers work in a big room with their eyes on screens that allow them to collectively oversee 1,300 trains coming in and out of Penn Station. Things are just weeks away from being more chaotic than ever for many of the hundreds of thousands who use it every day.

Tracks 10 through 13 are expected to get the most attention during the repair project which begins July 7 and runs through August.

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