Photo of NY Penn street entrance
Work at NY Penn Station is cause of the summer schedule changes.

The first weeks of NJT's summer work program service changes has passed; the chaos many predicted has not materialized, and according to reporting by Larry Higgs for NJ Advance Media, Amtrak is making good progress on its track work at New York Penn Station. After two weeks of work -- one-fourth of the eight weeks of work planned for the program -- Amtrak says they're 25-30% done. A switch that was blamed for a July 6 derailment has been replaced; the only reported "glitch" in the work program involved a new track bed for Track 10 at Penn Station: the concrete had to be re-poured. The work has focused on the track switches that route trains coming through the two Hudson River "tubes" into and out of Penn Station's complex of 21 station tracks.

While Morris & Essex Lines passengers continued to grumble about being forced to use Hoboken at most times on weekdays, another contingent has the opposite gripe, according to another article by Larry Higgs. Most commuters on NJT's North Jersey Coast line use New York Penn and continue to enjoy normal service.  But a few Coast Line trains normally go to and from  Hoboken, and these trains have been terminated at Newark Penn Station during the summer work program.  Riders who used those trains now have to transfer at Secaucus to reach Hoboken, or use PATH from Newark, and they're not happy about it. And while diverted M&E riders get a bargain 50% fare for the duration of the work, aggrieved Coast Line riders have not been offered reduced fares.

NJT has published a handy online guide for M&E riders during the work program; it's available (PDF format) here.