The Breaking Point: How Did We Get Here?


“The Breaking Level,” a WCBS 880 particular report collection by Alex Silverman

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — How did we get right here?

“It’s in all probability the worst yr, and it’s gotten worse each month in all probability for the final three or 4 months,”

To reply that, you may begin in 1970.

The MTA, shaped just some years earlier, was in talks to take over Penn Station from the Penn Central Firm, which – let’s simply say – was in dangerous form. 

Mitchell Moss, who runs New York College’s transportation middle, says “Gov. Rockefeller made an important mistake.”

“If New York State had purchased it, we might’ve had clear duty,” he says.

As an alternative, six years later, management fell to Amtrak.

In the event you assume what’s occurring now’s new, assume once more. Within the late Nineteen Seventies, the escalator to platforms 15 and sixteen sat damaged for 4 years, as a result of Amtrak and the MTA couldn’t agree on who ought to pay for it.

“Once we took over in 1976, we doubled the variety of practice actions – all on the identical 1910 infrastructure,” says Stephen Gardner, who’s the top of planning for Amtrak. “There has lengthy been a state of affairs of beneath funding throughout the terminal between all of the customers. So we’ve not all the time had the assets to do all of the work.”

Translation: The MTA and NJ TRANSIT are at fault, device.

“We have been anticipating Amtrak to behave with duty, and it did not do it,” Moss argues. “This isn’t the fault of the New York half or New Jersey. This can be a clear failure of the Amtrak administration over 30 years.”

penn sta 1 The Breaking Point: How Did We Get Here?

(Credit score: Alex Silverman/WCBS Newsradio 880)

In any case, that is the place we’re.

Sam Schwartz, higher referred to as Gridlock Sam, was as soon as the chief engineer for the town’s transportation division.

“No, I wasn’t stunned in any respect,” he says of the newest mess. “Whenever you see a collection of derailments, there’s often a root trigger. And that trigger is lack of preventative upkeep.”

The Breaking Level: Was It Inevitable?

Fernando Ferrer was the appearing MTA chairman when the company discovered simply how dangerous issues had gotten.

“It was a shock for many of us. We had relied on Amtrak to take care of their property. In truth, their tracks have been in such dangerous restore, you possibly can see the proof of the crumbling railroad ties,” he says. “Nothing for the rails to be nailed to. That’s nuts.”

Amtrak has been engaged on lengthy-time period repairs, in response to Chief Working Officer Scott Naparstek.

“We’ve been doing it at nights, on weekends, however what…



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