Summer of Hell: Amtrak says crews making progress at Penn Station

- The so-called Summer of Hell is half over. Amtrak's chief engineer said crews are 50-percent complete and that some of the work is running a bit ahead of schedule. After labor day, the weekday work ends and the weekend work begins.

For the past four weeks, the only sounds coming from Track 10 inside Penn Station have been drills and other machinery. This past week, crewed poured 800 of the 1,100 feet of concrete needed for the concrete roadbed in Track 10. They have also focused their efforts on the rails.

"We've installed rail and third rail along Track 10 where we have concrete poured," Amtrak chief engineer Gary Williams said by phone. "We've installed 73 linear feet of third rail for the total project."

 Williams said everyone is moving full-steam ahead.

"Coming up this weekend and into next week, we'll continue the installation of all the parts and jewelry we call it an 'A' interlocking," Williams said. "And in Track 10 we'll continue the concrete pours, installation of the block ties, rail, third rail and so forth."

The final stop for this work is expected to be Labor Day. But the work is far from over.

"We've got critical infrastructure still on the track side we want to take care of that we've got planned on the weekend outages following this summer," Williams said. "We're assessing the ET work, the electric traction, the signal work. We're also assessing the tunnels."

The chief engineer will be on site through Saturday to get a first-hand look at the work. He said that as soon as physical work is done and cleaned up, Amtrak must test the track and signals, which will take a few days.

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