NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Amtrak has announced plans to reopen three tunnels providing access to and from Penn Station on Friday, nearly two weeks after they were flooded and severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

In a news release, Amtrak said all of its Penn Station tunnels will be back in operation late Friday. The reintroduction of the tunnels will allow expanded Amtrak and commuter rail service to the north, south and west of New York City.

The tunnels were expected to open at various times in the three days to come.

Two of them – the Line 1 and Line 2 tunnels – are located under the East River, and will support more trains on the Northeast Corridor line, heading north from the city, and the Empire Service line, heading to and from Albany and farther west.

Once the tunnels reopen, each will operate at 80 percent capacity, or peak level of about 32 trains per hours, as repairs proceed, Amtrak said. Two other East River tunnels never flooded and continue to operate at 100 percent capacity.

The third tunnel – the North Tube – is located under the Hudson River and will allow more Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT service south of New York. Together with the South Tube, which reopened just two days after Sandy on Oct. 31, the Hudson River tunnels will operate at about 63 percent capacity, or about 24 trains per hour, Amtrak said.

Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnels for the first time in their history.

Have you taken Amtrak since Superstorm Sandy? Leave your comments below…


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