Amtrak announced plans this evening (Tuesday) to partially resume its Empire Line rail service out of New York City as early as Thursday morning, with a full restoration expected by Friday night. The suspension was caused by structural issues at a Hell’s Kitchen parking garage.
Since Sunday, the critical train route linking Albany and New York City has been out of operation, disrupting thousands of daily commuters. The Icon parking garage at W51st Street, just west of 10th Avenue, has been closed since Friday.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul expressed their frustration over the delay. Mayor Adams assured reporters that partial service should resume by Thursday, with a full schedule by Friday. “We believe that the services are going to be back online on Thursday, in part, with a full return to service by Friday,” he said.
Governor Hochul condemned the extended suspension as “unacceptable,” highlighting the inconvenience to countless New Yorkers. “Thousands of New Yorkers rely on Amtrak service for their daily commute or long-distance travel. I’m outraged that service between Albany and New York City has been suspended for so long. While we know it can be difficult to repair aging infrastructure, a delay of this length is unacceptable,” she said in a statement.
A Department of Buildings (DOB) spokesperson reported that shoring and repair plans, submitted by the building owner’s engineers, were approved Monday evening. Work at the site commenced Tuesday morning, with enough progress expected to safely open one Amtrak track by Wednesday evening and the second by Friday night.
This evening, the DOB Commissioner Jimmy Oddo, NYC Deputy Mayor Meera Joshin and New York State Director of Operations Kathryn Garcia were in Hell’s Kitchen to meet with Amtrak and DOB engineers and observe the ongoing shoring and repair work at the parking garage that has impacted the Empire Line rail service.
Despite these updates, uncertainty remains over when the parking garage will reopen, leaving over 100 vehicles belonging to Hell’s Kitchen residents stranded. The DOB has assured that Hudsonview Terrace at 747 10th Avenue, which sits atop the parking garage, is not affected, which is a relief to many local residents.