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Commuters brace for ‘Summer of Hell’ rail repairs

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NEW YORK — Friday's rush hour may be the last ‘normal’ trip home for thousands of commuters.

Penn Station will be partially shut down on Monday for track repairs. Construction is expected to continue to September.

"They got to get their act together," said one fed-up commuter, Carl Schellenberger.

Schellenberger has been riding the New Jersey Transit Coast Line into Penn Station for over 20 years, but he said the last several years have been a commuting nightmare.

"We have to revolt," he said. "The only power we have is economic revolt."

Schellenberger said it has taken him over two hours to get to work thanks to frequent derailments or maintenance problems.

One photo he shared with us showed toilet water filling a NJ Transit train car he was riding in.

"I had to make a quick getaway and go to the back of the rail car," he said the overflowing toilet was a unique but unsurprising inconvenience. "There is an issue everyday."

Schellenberger and other riders have been vocal on social media. He and others have tweeted at Governor Christie for canceling the ARC Tunnel rail project, which would have provided another rail route into New York City. Christie killed the concept in 2010 because he said there would be too many cost overruns. The tunnel was scheduled for completion in 2018.

"If Monday’s bad, I’m going to be working from home," said Schellenberger. "We’re all tired of it."