TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey won’t be making monthly payments to Amtrak for operating expenses for awhile, and could seek some money back, after two NJT trains were involved in derailments at New York’s Penn Station in the last week.
Governor Chris Christie fired off a letter to Amtrak’s Chairman saying, in part, that the incidents “raise serious questions about the condition of tracks and other assets maintained by Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor and Amtrak’s ability or willingness to properly maintain them in a state-of-good-repair.”
Christie has ordered New Jersey Transit to suspend monthly payments of $2.5 to 5 million until independent inspections are conducted, and the Attorney General is looking into getting at least $62 million back, for capital improvements that were to have been done last year.
Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman, in a statement, admitted customers and partners “deserve better” and promised inspections in conjunction with the Federal Railway Administration, as well as a review of maintenance practices with independent experts brought in.
He also promised full service at Penn Station will be restored tomorrow.