Amtrak To Resume Normal Service Tomorrow

Amtrak has announced it will resume normal service system wide as of tomorrow. The agency previously announced it would be cancelling long haul service & some state run services due to the expected railroad strike that has been averted.

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U.S. Railroad Strike Averted

Some great news to start the day as the pending U.S. railroad strike that would have affected the entire country has been averted. Fake news is giving credit to the Biden administration for helping get this done. However I will break the news that it really was done through back channels of the Trump administration as he has been president the entire time. The truth will soon be out on that as well.

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Amtrak Suspends Long Haul Service

This coming Friday can be a huge day for our country & not in a good way. Outside of a hail mary being completed in the next 48 or so hours, railroad workers across the nation will go on strike. Such an action will cripple the country as many of our goods are transported via railroad. Due to the high potential of this happening, Amtrak has announced the suspension of long haul service effective Thursday. This will be a huge burden on popular routes such as The Silver Meteor & The Silver Star.

The cause of suspension would be due to the fact most of the tracks Amtrak operates its trains on are owned by freight rail roads where they have lease agreements in place to use them. Some of their regional routes such as the Northeast Corridor will not see suspension due to the agency owning the tracks along the route. Here is more on Amtrak’s decision via a report in the New York Times:

Amtrak said Wednesday that it was canceling all long-distance passenger trains, effective Thursday, because of a possible work stoppage on freight railroads whose tracks Amtrak uses.

The announcement was made as the rail freight industry and two key unions remained at an impasse in contract negotiations. A federally mandated 30-day “cooling off” period ends at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, opening a door to strikes and lockouts. Amtrak said the negotiations do not involve its employees.

Amtrak noted that outside the Northeast Corridor, which connects Boston, New York and Washington, most of its service runs on “track owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads.” As a result, it said, only trains that can reach their final destination by the Friday deadline were continuing to operate.

It said most travel in the Northeast Corridor and on related branch lines to Albany, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Springfield, Mass., would not be affected, since those rails are controlled by Amtrak.

What Amtrak called “phased adjustments” to its schedule began with service suspensions on Tuesday on some of its longest routes, including the Southwest Chief between Los Angeles and Chicago, and the California Zephyr between Chicago and San Francisco.

Amtrak said passengers would be able to change their reservation to another travel date, with any difference in fare waived for departures through Oct. 31, or could receive a full refund without cancellation fees.

Click here for the complete report.

I support the workers if they go on strike as their reasons are 100% justified. It is frustrating if it comes to this as millions of people will be affected. Hopefully we get an Aaron Rodgers hail mary completion & defeat the potential strike.

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MTA Completes 170th St Renovations

MTA Completes Renovations at 170 St 4 Station

Photo taken by Marc A. Hermann / MTA

Earlier today, MTA NYC Transit announced it had completed the station renovation at the 170th St subway station in the Bronx on the line. Here is the press release the agency asked me to share with my readers:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today unveiled three new elevators and two new staircases at the 170 St  subway station on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. The elevators allow the station to be accessible to all customers for the first time.

The station is the 14th to be made newly accessible in the past 22 months, the fastest rate of new station accessibility upgrades in MTA history.

“Everyone at the MTA shares a commitment to create the most inclusive transit system possible,” said Janno Lieber, Acting MTA Chair and CEO. “Accessibility projects will continue to be a top priority for all of us in the years ahead. We will push them to follow the example set by 170th Street, which was completed on budget and ahead of schedule.”

“Hastening the speed of accessibility upgrades holds costs down and enables the MTA to perform more upgrades more quickly,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are using every tool at our disposal to make stations accessible, including setting in motion 26 new stations for accessibility upgrades at the end of last year.”

“This vital project will greatly benefit the Bronx community for years to come,” said NYC Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “An accessible station plus the addition of security cameras means a more reliable and safer transit system for all riders.”

“With every new ADA station, we can attract new subway and rail users, and close the geographic gaps between accessible stations on our subway map,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “These new elevators will improve the experience at this station for customers with mobility disabilities, and the countless riders who travel with luggage, strollers, bicycles and more.”

“New Yorkers deserve an accessible subway system, whether they are using a wheelchair to get around; traveling with a stroller; or carrying luggage,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We’re proud to support the MTA’s goals to make this station and many more fully accessible to all.”

“In planning for Jerome Avenue, we heard loud and clear that improved subway accessibility was sorely-needed. We’re proud to have collaborated with DOT, the MTA and Bronx residents to bring this new elevator to 170th Street, one that will make life easier for those with disabilities, seniors, parents with young children, and all New Yorkers,” said Department of City Planning Director Anita Laremont.

“One of the ways to both create and nurture a robust economy, especially as we try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, is focusing on our borough’s infrastructure system and accessibility,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “The upgrades made at the 170th Street Station are key, particularly in helping our most vulnerable communities get the same access to public transportation as everyone else. A thriving city like ours requires upgrades on all forms of transportation, and the ADA improvements made in the 170th street station is a step in the right direction. That is why I was proud to play an instrumental role in this project during my time in the City Council to ensure ADA accessibility for the residents of the West Bronx , and as Borough President, I will continue to ensure our transit hubs receive the resources they need. I would like to thank the MTA for their dedication to this.”

“Improving the accessibility of our transportation system is vital, as it provides equal opportunity for everyone to effectively travel throughout the city,” said City Council Member Althea Stevens. “Everyone deserves to be able to travel throughout New York City safely and comfortably.”

At 170 St, crews built a new elevator that touches down at the southeast corner of 170th Street and Jerome Avenue, replacing what had been a stairway. From there, customers can ride to the mezzanine, where crews built two additional new elevators, one each between the mezzanine and the northbound and southbound platforms.

Crews also renovated two pre-existing stairways on the south side of 170th Street and built two new stairways north of 170th Street, allowing customers from the north to reach the station without having to cross the busy street for the first time.

Additional work at the 170 St station includes new lighting, repair of some platform and canopy areas to ensure ADA compliance, replacement of tactile strips, some sections of rubbing boards and installation of CCTV security cameras.

An installation by artist Dina Bursztyn features a series of faceted glass windscreens and windows using the unique vantage point offered from the elevated trains and platforms.

The most recent station accessibility upgrades have come in four boroughs. In the past year, accessibility upgrades have been completed at the Avenue H  station in Brooklyn, the 57 St  Station in Manhattan, the Gun Hill Rd  Station in the Bronx, and at Court Sq-23 St in Queens.

The 170 St station was built in 1916 by the Interboro Rapid Transit Corp.

The work on this project was performed under MTA supervision by Citnalta-TAP J.V., a joint venture of the Citnalta Construction Corp. of Bohemia, N.Y., and TAP Electric Contracting Services, Inc., of Holbrook, N.Y.  The elevators were manufactured by Hydraulics-Mongrain Vertical Transport and Elevator Doors & Elevator Cabs Inc and installed by Mid-American Elevator.

Shoutout to the photographer who is on #TeamNikon I am a proud member as well. I no longer have my transit photography site up but you can see my paid work as a concert photographer on Capture The Show

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I want to take this time & wish every single Transit Blogger reader a Happy New Year. I look forward to enjoying another year with all of you.

Have a safe & wonderful beginning to 2022 & may you have your best year ever!

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