NJTransit delays are blamed on icing in train tunnels
Icing caused by Friday's record cold is causing problems for NJ Transit with trains delayed for up to 60 minutes in and out of New York's Penn Station, officials said. Similar delays are being reported for the evening commute and are also attributed to tunnel icing.
Ice build-up at the top of the crown of the tunnels, above the overhead power lines, must be addressed by work crews one tunnel at a time, according to Amtrak spokesman Craig Schultz.
"The have to knock the icicles down before they fall on the catenary lines and the trains, and before they grow too large," he said.
Early work Friday morning started in the south tunnel and moved to the north tunnel later. Schultz expects both tunnels to be available for the afternoon commute and said crews will be watching the ice buildup to take care of developing problems.
NJ Transit commuters became frustrated as trains were held at stations and express trains became locals through the morning. Spokesman William Smith said Manhattan-bound trains were forced to pause approaching the Secaucus station, creating a "cascading" effect down the line.
East River crossings were less affected by the icy buildup because there are four tunnels in service there.
PATH is accepting NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes at Newark Penn Station and New York's Penn Stations to give riders another option to get into Manhattan.