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Overhead Wire Falls On NJ TRANSIT Train Full Of Passengers

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An overhead power line fell onto a train line in Metuchen on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

An overhead power line fell onto a train line in Metuchen on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

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METUCHEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) –  Trains are back on track on NJ TRANSIT’s Northeast Corridor after an overhead power line fell onto a train line in Metuchen Tuesday morning.

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The power was cut and no injuries were reported. Roughly 700 passengers were evacuated.

The incident took place at about 7:45 a.m. Trains were running up to an hour behind schedule between Trenton & Princeton Junction.

Delays lasted most of the day until full service was restored at around 4 p.m. Cliff Cole, a spokesman for Amtrak, which owns the tracks, said the last of four tracks affected by the problem had been put back into service. Cole said Amtrak did not know yet what caused the wires to come down.

Earlier Tuesday, NJ TRANSIT spokesman John Durso Jr. told WCBS 880, “Our immediate priority, number one, is the safety of our passengers. Number two, is restoring power in an expedited fashion along the Northeast Corridor and we’ll continue to work with all parties involved into a full investigation into what happened,” said Durso.

A diesel train was brought in to pull the disabled train to safety.

Electrical problems, extreme weather and other mishaps have bedeviled New Jersey commuters recently. Since the end of June, nearly 20 service disruptions of varying severity on NJ TRANSIT lines have been reported.

Among the disruptions were three major delays within a week in August — two due to switching problems and one caused by a train derailment near the Hudson River tunnel into New York. There was a power outage inside the tunnel in September and a disabled train outside the tunnel two weeks ago.

Durso said that the agency’s on-time performance rate has been nearly 95 percent over the past year “despite the impact of a devastating hurricane, a crippling October snowstorm and other incidents beyond NJ Transit’s control.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or  redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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