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Life Safety Issues in Pennsylvania Station Amtrak Tunnels

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Mark R. Dayton, OIG’s Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Rail, Economic and Competition testified before the New York State Senate at a field hearing in Hempstead, NY regarding life safety issues in New York City's Pennsylvania Station's river tunnels. Nearly $900 million is needed to bring existing systems up to par with modern safety standards, including the replacement of narrow, winding, spiral staircases, installation of modern ventilation fans, and the rehabilitation of benchwalls.

While we do not believe that operations through these tunnels are so unsafe as to merit closing them until the work is complete, the current extended schedule of repairs places the public at prolonged and unnecessary risk. The hearing was prompted by the OIG's letter report issued in December to Representative Frank Wolf. The hearing received local media coverage.