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Power Outage Strands NJ TRANSIT Commuters Thursday Morning

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NJ Transit train - File / Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

NJ Transit train (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Four Manhattan-bound NJ TRANSIT trains got stuck near Penn Station Thursday morning, stranding hundreds of commuters — some for nearly three hours.

Check Traffic And Transit | NJ TRANSIT | Amtrak

Two NJ TRANSIT trains lost power in a Hudson River tunnel, with two other trains held up behind them, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported. Amtrak deployed diesel engines to remove the stalled trains from the tunnel.

The delays were caused by a power outage at around 9 a.m. The stranded passengers were pulled to Penn Station shortly before noon.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams With Passengers

As of 5 p.m., NJ TRANSIT’s website says “trains — including Midtown Direct service — are operating on or close to schedule into and out of New York.”

Amtrak customers also experienced delays between New York City and Newark.

What’s it like spending two hours stranded in a train tunnel under the Hudson River?

“The train just came to a complete stop and the lights remained on but there was no air conditioning,” Jason Small, a passenger on one of the stranded trains, told CBS 2.

“It was boring. It was a little stuffy. The ventilation was off. They opened the doors for a while,” Peter Seeger from Montclair told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “Talked to my seatmate. You know, it was conversational. A guy two rows in front was sharing candy with people all over, passing it around. It passed fairly comfortably. There was no panic.”

Mae Teixeira weathered it with a smile and some perspective.

“We’ve had the earthquake, the hurricane, and stuck in the tunnel,” she said. “What next? I guess we’re ready.”

NJ TRANSIT has been hammered with outages and disruptions lately, in no small part recently due to the damage left by Tropical Storm Irene. The Port Jervis line, which was devastated by Irene, only restored limited train service a week ago.

Even before Irene hit, NJ TRANSIT was stung by a series of disruptions, including two derailments and one switch problem all taking place within one week of each other in August. Amtrak was responsible for one of the derailments.

Do you think we need to improve rail infrastructure, and would you be willing to pay for it? Sound off in our comments section.

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