Downed tree in NJ causes signal problem, delays for Amtrak, NJ Transit riders

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Downed tree in NJ leads to Northeast Amtrak delays

TRENTON, N.J. — Train passengers along Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor confronted delays of up to two hours after a fallen tree knocked out power and rail signals Wednesday morning, but the delays had mostly ended by the evening commute.

The tree took down overhead power wires near Hamilton, N.J., around 5:30 a.m., causing delays between New York City and Philadelphia, Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said. Amtrak trains were able to move again by 8 a.m. but at greatly reduced speeds.

By 7 p.m., service on Amtrak and NJ Transit was on or close to schedule.

During the morning rush, NJ Transit could not operate trains between Trenton and New Brunswick’s Jersey Avenue station. Rail passengers were told to use other NJ Transit lines or buses, which accepted their rail passes.

The commuter railroad was able to resume service by 10:50 a.m., although those trains initially faced delays of up to an hour, NJ Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said.

The disruption came nearly a week after Amtrak canceled trains south of Quantico, Va., because a CSX coal train derailed, blocking all tracks. Amtrak trains running between Washington and Newport News, Va., and from New York to Miami, Charlotte, N.C., and Savannah, Ga., were affected by the track closure.

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