TRENTON — A power issue forced NJ Transit to cancel trains during the morning commute for the fifth workday in a row on Thursday.

NJ Transit reported the overhead wire problem at New York Penn Station via its Twitter account creating a 20 minute delay for the early part of the commute.. Some early morning trains already on their way to New York were held on their approaches.

Cross-honoring was instituted for a time, with PATH accepting NJT rail tickets and passes at Newark Penn Station, Hoboken, and New York-33rd Street.

Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said the power issue was quickly repaired but did not elaborate on a cause.

NJ Transit riders on social media said trains were running short of cars creating overcrowding.

Thursday's tally of 10 canceled trains:

  • NEC train #3936, the 9:21am from Trenton is CANCELLED, due to an equipment issue.
  • M&E train #6624 the 8:08am from Dover is cancelled due to mechanical problems.
  • NEC train #5822, the 7:05am from New Brunswick is CANCELLED, due to equipment issues
  • RVL train #5416, the 6:53 a.m. from Raritan, is canceled due to equipment issues.
  • NJCL train #2606, the 6:49 a.m. from Long Branch, is canceled due to equipment issues.
  • NJCL train #3500, the 6:27 a.m. from South Amboy, is canceled due to equipment issues.
  • NEC train #3813, the 5:07 a.m. from NYPS, is canceled due to overhead wire problem in NYPS.
  • NEC train #3811, the 4:51 a.m. from NYPS, is canceled due to equipment issues, with customers redirected to train #3813, the 5:07 a.m. from NYPS (also later canceled; see above).
  • M&E train #0404, the 5:41 a.m. from Gladstone, is canceled due to equipment issues.

Story continues after the tweets

Based on a running tally of the Twitter accounts for each NJ Transit line, seven trains were canceled during Wednesday morning's rush, while four trains were canceled on Wednesday afternoon for a daylong total of 11.

The Atlantic City Line had 90-minute delays all day Wednesday because of unspecified equipment issues, and continued to have a 45-minute delay on Thursday.

Spokesman Jim Smith on Thursday  continued to blame the recent  cold snap for the cancellations and a backlog of weather issues yet to be repaired.

Temperatures were seasonable on Wednesday around the state, according to Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"The high temp at Newark yesterday (Wednesday) was 40, normal is 39," Zarrow said.

Last Friday, NJ Transit canceled a total of 25 trains. Monday, 27 trains were canceled, and on Tuesday, 18 were canceled.

At a legislative hearing on Monday, NJ Transit Rail Operations Director Robert Lavell said parts are getting harder to come by for older passenger cars because vendors no longer carry them. Lavell said his department tries to order parts to have on hand, but they also don’t want to have too many on hand that won’t be used.

He estimated there are 65 pieces of equipment waiting for material, and a total of 230 waiting for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

"It is taking us longer to get parts for our equipment. Our procurement department has lost a lot of talented individuals, and we’re in the process of hiring to bring staffing back up again. We also have older equipment that is failing more frequently ... we are in the process of replacing that equipment," Lavell said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ and be part of our Commuter Advisory Board.

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