NEW YORK — A bad track that is the focus of the New York Penn Station infrastructure project was to blame for the July 6 derailment of an NJ Transit train.

The Associated Press reported that the first car of the train derailed when the train switched from one track to another because parts anchoring the rail were defective.

"The cause of this slow-speed derailment was attributed to a track condition within A Interlocking. Specifically, the gauge of the rail expanded slightly due to defective switch timbers, allowing the point of the switch over which the car was passing to slightly open and the flange of the wheel to climb the rail and derail," Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said in a statement to New Jersey 101.5.

About 200 passengers were on board the train from Long Branch. Passenger Rich Denison told New Jersey 101.5 he felt a small jolt as the train came to a dead stop.

A train uses the the A Interlocking as it leaves Penn Station in New York (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

No passengers or crew were injured.

The A Interlocking is the focus of the current infrastructure project going on now through Sept. 1.

"This incident reinforces our decision to accelerate the infrastructure renewal work in this part of New York Penn Station this summer. This proactive approach – compressing years of planned work into a couple of months – will strengthen operations and restore reliability at North America’s busiest rail station," Tolbert said.

The project, nicknamed the "Summer from Hell" by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has gone smoothly for the most part.  Passengers have successfully adjusted their own schedules to get in and out of Hoboken in order to get to Manhattan.

“Due to a lot of hard work by the Long Island Railroad, NJ Transit and Amtrak, the scheduled reduction, while unfortunate, has worked very, very well,” Amtrak Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said at a news conference Friday. He said there had been an appropriate number of trains in and out with the proper spacing. “The station has run over 90 percent on time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Share your “Summer of Delays” experience with New Jersey 101.5 and join our commuter panel. Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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