Philadelphia/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on May 23, 2024
Amtrak Service Between Philadelphia and NYC Disrupted by Downed Wires, Stranding TravelersSource: Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Travel chaos ensued on Wednesday as Amtrak services between Philadelphia and New York City stopped owing to downed wires in Kearny, New Jersey. Commuters were stranded for hours, with northbound trains at a standstill until service slowly resumed later that evening. "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience as we work through this unexpected situation," an Amtrak spokesperson said in a statement obtained by CBS Philadelphia.

Further disruptions rippled, with NJ Transit service suspended between New York and Metropark. Amtrak acknowledged some service impacts reached as far as Washington D.C., leaving travelers like Trevor Sirak, according to his interview with FOX 29, dealing with considerable delays. "I was here for three hours, almost four hours and then they announced a delay and I’m kind of annoyed cause I don’t know how I’m supposed to get into Maryland," he said.

Despite the mishap, the regional rail services operated by SEPTA were reportedly unaffected by the incident. On the other hand, Amtrak had to scramble to restore power on one track between New York and Newark by 9:30 p.m., as reported by 6abc. The full scale of the interruption cast a shadow on the efficiency of one of the busiest rail corridors in the country, with an air of uncertainty around the time normal service would be reinstated.

Amtrak addressed inconvenienced passengers, stating customers with reservations on affected trains would typically be accommodated on trains with similar departure times or another day. As of late Wednesday, commuters were bracing for more information while crews worked diligently to untangle the steel web that had so suddenly ensnarled their journeys.