One Really Expensive Tunnel

April 4, 2016

What One Really Expensive Tunnel Means to U.S. Train Travel

Story by Henry Grabar, Next City

Here’s a story about how business gets done at New York’s Penn Station. In the late 1970s, the escalator connecting Tracks 15 and 16 to the concourse sat broken for more than four years because Amtrak, which owns the complex, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, whose Long Island Rail Road trains terminate there, could not agree who should pay to fix it.Website Insert Buy American Mandate copy

The escalator had already stopped working when Amtrak was granted ownership of Penn Station in 1976. The two agencies squabbled for several years over how the $82,000 repair cost should be divided. An initial agreement split the cost 82-18. Amtrak didn’t think that was fair. A subsequent study determined Amtrak should pay 85 percent. In January 1979, the two sides agreed on an 80-20 funding split.

On Friday, March 23, the escalator sprang to life. The next day it broke again.

Click here to read the full story.



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