Thursday, May 25, 2006
Walkin' to work
A power outage stranded thousands of rush-hour commuters Thursday between New York and Washington, D.C., stopping five trains inside tunnels and forcing many passengers to get out and walk to the nearest station.
Three NJ Transit trains and one Amtrak train were stuck in a tunnel under the Hudson River heading into New York. A fifth train was stuck in a rail tunnel in Baltimore.
Krista Barry spent the morning of her 23rd birthday sitting on the floor of a sweltering NJ Transit car, reading a book for more than 90 minutes.
"Everyone is calling me on my cell and saying, 'Uh, happy birthday; too bad you're stuck,'" said Barry, who lives in Pennsauken, N.J. but boarded the train in Trenton bound for her job as an office temp in Manhattan. "At least I get to relax and not go to work."
Mike Kenny of West Windsor has been commuting to Manhattan for 30 years.
"This is shaping up as one of the worst ever," he said. "It's getting pretty hot in here, and the bathroom is getting backed up."
Train crews offered passengers the option of getting off and walking about a quarter-mile to the nearest station in North Elizabeth. ***
Elsewhere, passengers were taken off NJ Transit trains near the Secaucus and MetroPark stations and escorted to nearby stations, where bus service was waiting for them.
NJ Transit suspended all service on its heavily traveled Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines. Midtown Direct service was diverted to Hoboken, where commuters could catch PATH trains to Manhattan.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is honoring NJ Transit ticket holders on PATH trains. All New Jersey Transit rail passengers can use their tickets on NJ Transit buses and Light Rail lines for the remainder of the day.
More from the Star-Ledger here.
Up-to-the-minute NJ Transit travel alerts available here.
Update: WNBC has vidoe here.
Update #2: The AP is reporting that power has been restored.