Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
Power Outage Strands 1,500 NJ Transit Passengers
Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 11:50 AM
A power outage stranded about 1,500 NJ Transit passengers in a tunnel outside of Penn Station for more than two hours during the morning commute Thursday.
The power failure that occurred around 9 a.m. Thursday affected four trains — all of which officials say have now been removed from the tunnel, according to a spokesman for Amtrak, which operates the tunnel.
Amtrak doesn't know what cause the power outage, and had no estimate for restoration.
Amtrak said that there is one working southbound track, but there were extensive service delays between New York and New Jersey as of noon Thursday.
Passenger Jason Uechi, a software developer, who was on the 8:20 a.m. train from Montclair, N.J., said he was stuck on the train for more than two hours. He said the lights were on in the car but the air conditioning was not.
“Like any incident in New York, it takes this kind of thing to make people talk," he said, noting passengers were calm and even shared electronic devices. "We were quick to crack jokes about getting rescued and all those kinds of things.”
Robin Isserles, a sociologist on the same train, said the experience of being stuck wasn't great, but "people have been really wonderful, the crew have been informing us when they could. It’s actually been not as bad as expected.”
Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains are facing delays of up to 30 minute. Midtown Direct trains are being diverted to Hoboken. Main/Bergen and Pascack Valley line passengers are being encouraged to stay on trains to Hoboken. PATH is honoring NJ Transit tickets and passes.