Power Outage Halts Northeast Corridor Trains, Stranding Thousands

Train service along the Northeast Corridor south of New York stopped Wednesday evening due to falling overhead power cables in Kearny, New Jersey, stranding commuters and travelers on trains and at stations as far south as Washington.

The power outage disrupted service between New York and Newark from 5:05 p.m. and help spread across the corridor that constitutes the main line between New York and Washington. Some trains bound for Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, the busiest U.S. rail hub, terminated in Philadelphia, where passengers had to find alternative transportation, said Jason Abrams, a spokesman. of Amtrak.

At 10:05 p.m., hundreds of people rushed to the entrance to Track 11 at Penn Station, where a Trenton-bound train was boarding nearly four and a half hours late.

Around 10:30 p.m., Mr. Abrams said trains were running south of Penn Station again. By 11 p.m., he said, northbound service had also resumed. But delays and cancellations could continue Thursday due to “residual impacts” from Wednesday’s chaos, New Jersey Transit said on social media around 11:30 p.m.

Sheydline Moise, 23, shuffled through the crowd. She had left work to take a train home at 6:27 p.m. to Woodbridge, New Jersey, and had been waiting at the station ever since. At one point, she boarded a train for about 20 minutes, only for authorities to tell passengers to get off, she said.

“I almost started crying,” Ms. Moise said, adding that Uber was quoting a fare of nearly $200. “It was a very long night,” she said, sounding exasperated. “I’m definitely canceling tomorrow.”

Hundreds of people gathered in the upper and lower levels of Penn Station, sitting on the floor, lined up on the steps, leaning against their suitcases, all staring in defeat at a departure board showing delay after delay.

“It seems like everyone is somewhat confused,” said Jack Ardingron, 72, as he ate a bag of popcorn and observed the scene.

His wife Carol Ardingron, 66, held a poster for Mother Play, the Broadway show the couple had come to see from Clinton, New Jersey. Their city-bound train got stuck for about 25 minutes just outside Penn Station, Ms. Ardingron said. “Now we are stuck on the way out. It’s a nice circle,” she said.

Late in the evening, disgruntled New York Rangers fans descended on the station after watching their team lose a playoff game to the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden above. “We left disappointed, and then we come down here and no trains are running,” said Joe Hagan, 56. He and his friends decided to share an Uber back to New Jersey.

At Washington’s Union Station, the last northbound train of the night boarded just after 10:30 p.m. One of the Amtrak agents at the station said the train would arrive in New York – “eventually.”

Mr. Abrams said railroad officials did not yet know what caused the cables to fail or whether the problem was related to construction in Kearny of a replacement for the 114-year-old Portal Bridge, which depends Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. The new bridge is the first phase of the Gateway Project to add a tunnel under the Hudson River and increase rail capacity between New York and New Jersey.

A New Jersey Transit spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

As of 11 p.m., the agency’s website reported that service had been suspended in both directions on the corridor between New York and Metropark station and on the New Jersey Coast Line between New York and Long Branch, in the New Jersey. He said service had also been suspended in both directions on the Raritan Valley line. He gave no indication of when service might resume.

Some New Jersey Transit commuter trains continued to operate from Hoboken, New Jersey. New Jersey Transit passengers could have their tickets and passes honored on PATH trains between Manhattan and New Jersey, according to a New Jersey Transit spokesperson. To avoid Penn Station, travelers can also take ferries to Hoboken, where six New Jersey Transit lines offer service.

In Washington, taxi drivers waited hours without finding a passenger outside Union Station.

“I didn’t do anything today, just wasting time, talking to friends,” said Uzzi Afeworki, a taxi driver.

Christophe Maag, Minho Kim And Yan Zhuang contributed.

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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