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N.Y. Area Amtrak Service Paused Over Problems With Garage Above Tracks

Amtrak train service on the line between New York City and Albany remained disrupted for a second day on Monday after structural issues were discovered in a parking garage above the train tracks in Midtown Manhattan.

Service was suspended between Pennsylvania Station in New York and the Croton-Harmon stop in Westchester because of problems with the garage, which is on 51st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, Amtrak said. On Sunday, when the suspension first began, service was halted between New York City and Albany.

Engineers found structural issues throughout the garage and above the tracks, including exposed rebar, cracks and holes in concrete, according to the city’s Department of Buildings. The garage is attached to a 38-story apartment building on 10th Avenue known as the Hudsonview Terrace.

A spokesman for Amtrak said Monday that he did not know when service would be restored and that it would depend on the status of the garage, which is privately owned. The Department of Buildings has issued a partial vacate order for the garage. No structural problems have been found at surrounding buildings, the city said.

On Monday morning, there was yellow caution tape blocking the entrance to the garage. A sign said it had been closed for repairs since Friday. There was no response at a phone number for its owners.

The problems were first uncovered on Friday, when an engineer hired by the property owner called 911 to report structural issues, a Department of Buildings spokesman said. Engineers from the city and Amtrak responded and found two holes in ramps at the garage, and Amtrak determined that trains could continue to run if overhead protection was installed above the tracks, the spokesman said.

But on Sunday morning, Amtrak workers discovered additional structural issues beneath the garage while they were installing the overhead protection. City engineers inspected the garage again on Sunday and found more problems, the spokesman said.

Metro-North trains continued to run on Monday between Grand Central Terminal and Croton-Harmon, and Amtrak tickets were being honored on that line.

At Grand Central on Monday, trains were running on time and commuters boarded trains to and from Croton-Harmon in orderly fashion. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary on the main concourse.

There are hundreds of parking garages throughout New York City, including many that were built before World War II. Dozens of aging structures have been cited for hazardous conditions that have lingered unresolved. One person was killed in April when a portion of a four-story garage in Lower Manhattan collapsed.

A new city law requires parking garage operators to hire professional engineers to inspect their structures and file reports to the Buildings Department. The operators of the garage on 51st Street have not filed their report yet, which is due before the end of the year.

Claire Fahy contributed reporting.

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