New York Today: ‘Summer of Hell’ Comes to an End

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Updated, 9:02 a.m.

Good morning on this somewhat cloudy Tuesday.

It’s over.

Regular train service resumed today at Pennsylvania Station, after eight weeks of emergency repairs to the tracks.

For commuters who pass through the nation’s busiest transit hub, that means no longer having to take multiple trains (and perhaps a ferry) to work.

But what was anticipated to be a frustrating summer of disrupted train service turned out to be not so bad for most. Some commuters even liked it.

We asked readers affected by the disruptions about their summer commute, and what good, if any, came out of it.

Here’s what they said:

“Although the additional 45 minutes to my commute every day is rough, I can say that not having to experience Penn Station’s dilapidation and stench has been a welcome change.”

— Stephen Joseph, 38, South Orange, N.J.

“Riding the ferry was great for my mental health and the crew was terrific. Fellow rerouted riders nicknamed the passengers and crew the Hoboken Yacht Club. Turns out I’m a proud member!”

— Kimberly Mullaney, 54, Maplewood N.J.

“It added stability and predictability to my commute. There were absolutely no cancellations or disruptions, just a bit more crowded.”

— Jimmy Schwecherl, 31, Rockville Centre, N.Y.

“The commute this summer was more mentally than physical exhausting, as there were a lot of steps involved in getting me to my office in Rockefeller Center. What good came out of it? I really appreciate the steps people take to get to work every day. And I certainly appreciate Penn Station a whole lot more!”

— Lauren Mirman, 38, South Orange, N.J.

“During construction this summer I left the house 20 minutes earlier, which is no easy feat as I try to spend every minute possible with my 2-year-old. But it got me to work before most of my office, which makes for a nice and relaxing start to my morning. I’m going to keep going in early.”

Lisa Kim, 36, Rockville Centre, N.Y.

“My favorite part of the summer was when my daily evening conductor spoke over the loudspeaker to announce that after already being delayed for 45 minutes, we were going to be stalled again so another train could pass us mid-route. ‘I would say I’m sorry, but I know you don’t believe us anymore,’ he said, to a train full of laughs. We survived together.”

— Kelsey Leiter, 24, Mahwah, N.J.

How was your commute through Penn Station during the last eight weeks? Did anything good come out of it? Tell us in the comments.


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