NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just hours after Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT announced trains were back on track Saturday afternoon, riders faced more delays in and out of Penn Station due to overhead wire problems.
Riders told CBS2’s Reena Roy they were stuck between Newark and Penn Station with no power or air conditioning for about 45 minutes, with approximately 600 passengers on board.
“It was hot, there was no air. We couldn’t breathe,” said rider Lettie Pirtle, adding the problems started earlier in the journey. “Before it even got to Newark Penn Station, it was delayed for 36 minutes.”
“I think they should give their customers something if they’re constantly having these issues,” she continued.
“Stuck – It was about 45 minutes we were stuck on the train,” fellow passenger Maiysha Ware said. “Very disappointed, and upset, and angry and I am going to follow up with a complaint.”
Another woman who was trying to go shopping with her daughter said her “30 minute ride turned into an hour.”
An Amtrak rescue train towed the stalled NJ TRANSIT train into the station around 5 p.m.
A short time later, NJ TRANSIT said trains were operating on or close to schedule.
Amtrak said its crews were investigating what caused the wire issues. The FDNY said there were no injuries.
Service Updates: NJ TRANSIT
Earlier in the day, riders experienced delays in and out of Penn Station for several hours due to a disabled Amtrak train in one of the Hudson River tunnels.
NJ TRANSIT said Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, and MidTown Direct lines were all subject to 30 minute delays.
Amtrak said train No. 98 became stuck in one of the tunnels because of “locomotive issues. Amtrak also said service was briefly suspended between New York and New Jersey due to overhead power issues, but has since resumed.
For tourist Angie Richardson, it was a rude welcome to New York City.
“There were some people who got a little irate and were using bad language,” she told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Around her, tempers flared, temperatures climbed and firefighters were called in. The Amtrak train she was riding had brought her all the way from her home state of Florida.
“We were coming into Penn Station, and in the tunnel it sounded like a big bump, like we hit something or something, and then the engine just went dead,” she said. “We were stuck for about an hour, no power.”
She was on board with about 1,000 other people when it stopped.
With the one train disabled, there were ripple effects, including an NJ TRANSIT train behind it that also had to stop in the tunnel and then, after a while, backtrack to Secaucus, Carlin reported.
“We weren’t moving and we wound up going backwards, where we went back to Secaucus,” rider Jamila Johnson said. “So once we went back to Secaucus, then he’s like OK now we can move. Then it got stuck in the tunnel.”
A rescue train was sent in to guide the stalled train to safety, but Amtrak said that train also temporarily became stuck in the tunnel.
A second rescue train was also sent to assist the two stuck trains, according to Amtrak.
“They sent another car in to rescue us, to pull us out, and there was a problem with that car. So they had to rescue that one and send another one, I think,” Richardson said.
Rachel Chaplin was waiting for her train while all this was going on, watching the departure time get later and later.
“You look at the one that was going to go to Trenton that got cancelled altogether, and that would be so much worse,” she said. “But still, no matter what, it’s still really inconvenient for everybody traveling.”