Amtrak’s Empire Line service suspension leads to some confusion among passengers

Service suspended on parts of Amtrak’s Empire Line

This is day two of service being suspended on a busy Amtrak train line, affecting passengers going between Albany and New York City. The problem is with a parking garage in Manhattan that is over the tracks.

Hada Kabia of Albany found herself stuck at Moynihan station in New York City Sunday. She was visiting her brother on Long Island this weekend.

“Man, I pray to God right now that I could just make it home,” she said.

Service between New York City and the Croton Harmon station in Westchester County is suspended because of structural problems at a parking garage on West 51st Street over train tracks, and that affects the Empire line between Manhattan and Albany.

“I get here, and 10 minutes after I’m supposed to be on my way out, you’re telling me that oh, I’m not going home tonight. There’s no other train to Albany, no, there’s nothing else. It’s like, my God, I don’t know what to do.”

The city was first aware of structural issues at the building on Friday. Engineers found two holes on two ramps.

Amtrak planned to put protection above the tracks. But Sunday morning, crews found more structural problems, including cracked and deteriorated steel beams, and decided it wasn’t safe.

Dana Wagemaker was at the Amtrak station in Rensselaer Monday, on the way to a conference in the city.

There was some confusion with her group about whether or not they’d be able to go.

“I called the 800 number that told me that everyone was canceled,” said Wagemaker. “That was the confusion, my co-workers were saying they could get to Croton Harmon and then take Metro North, and so when I called Albany, that is the information I was given– that yes, we would be able to go, switch trains at Metro North and actually get into the city.”

According to Amtrak, passengers can travel on Metro North trains between Croton Harmon and Grand Central, with Amtrak tickets cross-honored.

“We just have to pay attention to the switching of the trains and what we need to do, but we’re all set to come back tomorrow, it’s all good,” she said.

There is no timeline yet for repairs.