Inside a secret lair, located in an ordinary looking Manhattan building, decisions are made that control your life as a commuter.
The place where this daily ballet of trains happens is Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad’s joint control center. Security is so tight that officials even asked visiting reporters to keep the specific location a secret and not photograph employees on the job.
On good days, the control center seamlessly sends trains in and out of Penn Station New York’s 21 tracks. It controls long distance and commuter trains movement on Amtrak’s railroad between Pennsylvania and upstate New York, affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers.
On a bad day, they deal with problems such sending a rescue locomotive to pulls a stranded train out of the Hudson River tunnels, while rail delays mount. This summer that’s complicated by a track project that’s reduced train capacity in Penn Station.