Commuters: "Summer of Hell" not so bad yet

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Hudson Valley rail commuters are telling News 12 that the beginning of the so-called “Summer of Hell” hasn’t been so bad yet.

Three of 21 tracks will be out of commission this summer at New York Penn Station as crews rip out and replace everything, down to the concrete. The construction will have riders seeing fewer trains during peak periods, and some may have to take a bus, ferry or other alternative to reach their destination.

While there were no major problems during Monday's commutes, some riders said they were still inconvenienced. Just 10 minutes before a train was scheduled to arrive, one commuter using the Port Jervis line in Suffern told News 12 his train was canceled. That forced him to call out from his job in Montgomery, he said.

Other commuters said returning home to the Hudson Valley had rough spots. Repair work coupled with police activity in New Jersey made for a long Monday. One resident said they were on a train for almost three hours.

"They have extra people on hand at the stations handing out the change schedules and being available to answer questions. Everything was super smooth, so I'm hoping that it stays that way," says Tarra Hamby, of Tuxedo.

The Penn Station work is expected to wrap up Sept. 1. Once complete, News 12 is told that riders will benefit from increased reliability and up-to-date equipment.

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