Power Outage Halts Northeast Corridor Trains

Power Outage Halts Northeast Corridor Trains

Train service along the Northeast Corridor south of New York City ground to a halt Wednesday evening because of fallen overhead power cables in Kearny, N.J., stranding commuters and travelers on trains and at stations as far south as Washington.

The power outage disrupted service between New York and Newark, starting at 5:05 p.m. and the backups cascaded down the corridor that is the main line between New York and Washington. Some trains bound for Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, America’s busiest rail hub, terminated in Philadelphia, where passengers were left to find alternate transportation, said Jason Abrams, a spokesman for Amtrak.

At about 10:05 p.m., hundreds of people rushed the entryway of track 11 at Penn Station, where a train to Trenton was boarding nearly four-and-a-half hours behind schedule.

At about 10:30 p.m., Mr. Abrams said trains were running again south of Penn Station. Earlier, he said it was unclear when northbound service would resume and if service would be fully restored before the Thursday morning rush.

Sheydline Moise, 23, was shuffling forward in the crowd. She’d left work to catch a 6:27 p.m. train home toward Woodbridge, N.J., 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 disembark, she said.

“I almost started to cry,” Ms. Moise said, adding that Uber was quoting a fare of nearly $200. “This has been a super long night,” she said, sounding exasperated. “I’m definitely calling off tomorrow.”

Mr. Abrams said he did not know what brought the wires down or if the problem was related to the construction in Kearny of a replacement for the 114-year-old Portal Bridge that Amtrak and New Jersey Transit depend on. 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 City and New Jersey.

Some New Jersey Transit commuter trains continued to operate out of Hoboken, N.J. Riders on New Jersey Transit could have their tickets and passes honored on PATH trains, between Manhattan and New Jersey, according to a spokesman for New Jersey Transit. To avoid Penn Station, travelers also could take ferries to Hoboken, where six New Jersey Transit lines offer service.

Alexandra E. Petri contributed reporting in New York.

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