NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Power problems crippled train service at Penn Station Wednesday.
The effects were felt from New York to Philadelphia as some passengers were trapped on hot trains.
Trains got moving again, but delays lingered throughout the afternoon.
Trains between Philadelphia and New York were forced to grind to a halt after an unspecified problem with overhead electrical lines between Philadelphia and Trenton.
“Our crews proactively, and in the name of safety, decided to to turn the power off between Philadelphia and New York so they can fix the issues,” said Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams.
That left many riders stalled and sharing their frustrations with online photos and videos showing their stagnant ride.
Temperatures rose in darkened trains with no air conditioning, reported CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Firefighters showed up to attend to a passenger who apparently fainted.
After power was restored delays continued for ticket holders on Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT trains.
“Super frustrating. You think the train is going to be on time, and then nobody knows that they’re doing half the time. Just chaos,” said Jacob Swetland.
“I don’t want to spend a day in Penn Station. It’s not the prettiest place in the world,” said Boston resident Brad.
“They’re just canceling everthing… obviously they don’t know, I guess,” said Lou Muszyniski of East Brunswick.
Diesel rescue trains were standing by to move a trio of trains stalled in a tunnel, but thankfully weren’t needed.
“We though they needed to be rescued, but because the power was restored so quickly, they were able to come back to the station without being rescued,” said Abrams.
CBS2 went to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for answers, and he said improvements including better maintenance work is being done, that bit by bit the system is getting better even if it didn’t look like it today.
“When we don’t bat a thousand, it doesn’t matter if I say we’re making great progress. If it’s your train that didn’t work that day, you’re frustrated, and I don’t blame you. And I won’t be happy until we bat a thousand,” Murphy said.
Delays lingered on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line service after the earlier power issues. Midtown Direct service resumed in and out of Penn Station. NJTRANSIT tickets were cross-honored by NJT bus and private carriers.