August 14, 2018 | ° F

NJ Transit trains delayed more than 3 hours due to fallen power lines

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

People were left waiting more than three hours at the New Brunswick train station after a fallen power line obstructed service of NJ Transit trains. The delays began around 3:20 p.m.

Delays along the New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) and North Jersey Coast Lines (NJC) Monday night left many commuters waiting more than four hours for their trains to come.

Service was halted between New York and Trenton around 3:20 p.m, according to the NJ Transit Website. The break in service was caused by fallen power lines in Linden, New Jersey.

The same track obstructions also forced Amtrak to suspend service for their Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains, which run through N.J., according to the Washington Post.

According to NJ Transit's twitter, regular service resumed around 6:30 p.m, but numerous train cancellations and track overflow led trains to remain delayed well into Tuesday morning.

According to officials at the New Brunswick station, NJ Transit allowed train tickets to be used as bus fare to accommodate passengers. But many New Brunswick commuters opened the Uber app and shared rides instead.

Some turned to Twitter to seek answers and express their concerns.

At the New Brunswick Station, passengers took refuge inside the Barnes & Noble Café on Somerset Street, but waited well into the night.

“I hopped off the bus around 6:15 and ran over here to try and catch the 6:28 train. Nothing showed up,” said Jonathan Martinez, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “I was supposed to be at work teaching a kickboxing class in Hamilton, but I missed out on that.”

The situation worsened due to the ongoing nor’easter storm, Martinez said, which created flooding throughout New Jersey.

“This is the first time I’ve experienced (long delays) in a while,” Martinez said. "It sucks with the weather, shoes being wet, socks being wet. Having a laptop in the backpack too, hopefully it doesn’t get water damage.”

Martinez, as well as a number of customers on Twitter, said they were further inconvenienced by NJ Transit's lack of communication. The only official announcements regarding the delays were occurring reminders of delays and an apology from the company, he said. 

"I would want to know what’s going on. I understand it’s raining but I would like to get at least a status update," Martinez said. “I know people drive like idiots but I wouldn't expect it to happen with the train."

When train service was restored, packed NJ Transit cars and Amtrak trains showed continued delays for the NEC commuters.

“I think six or seven Amtrak trains have passed by at this point,” Martinez said. “We see lights and it’s not our train. It’s very frustrating, especially when they drive by really slow. It’s a tease.”

This is not the first time that NJ Transit has experienced significant delays. Last year, the railway was ranked No. 1 in the country for mechanical errors and breakdowns, according to the National Transit Database.

“Hopefully all this justifies why I wasn’t (at work) and hopefully I don’t lose my job,” Martinez said. "I’ve been out here all day. I can’t wait to go home and put on some sweats."

Sharbel Skaff is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in exercise science. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. 

Sharbel Skaff

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