🚅Overhead wires & a disabled commuter train are being blamed for Friday's problems

🚅There were major delays and suspensions during Thursday afternoon's commute

🚅A 15% fare increase goes into effect on NJ Transit on July 1

Another day, another problem for NJ Transit commuters headed in and out of New York.

NJ Transit service through New York Penn Station remains suspended as of 10 a.m. with cross-honoring in effect. Rail tickets & passes are being crossed-honored by NJ Transit and private carrier buses and PATH at Newark Penn, Hoboken and 33rd Street. Midtown Direct trains are being diverted to Hoboken.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News captured video of NJ Transit trains heading toward New York after the suspension was announced.

NJ Transit train at New York Penn Station 6/21/24
NJ Transit train at New York Penn Station 6/21/24 (Listener submitted)

What caused Friday's problems?

NJ Transit said on its X account blamed an Amtrak overhead wire at New York Penn.

"Crews are working to remove a disabled commuter train and repair any related infrastructure," Amtrak spokesman Kyle Anderson told New Jersey 101.5.

Amtrak, which maintains the Northeast Corridor tracks and stations, said the train will delay and modify all rail services between New York and Philadelphia until noon with delays of 60 minutes. "Any related infrastructure" must also be repaired.

NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett in a statement said the train involved was "inspected thoroughly before leaving Newark, including the pantograph, and no defects were found."

A photo sent to New Jersey 101.5 shows a NJ Transit train with a bent pantograph. A similar incident happened earlier in the week to the wire that captures the electricity from overhead wires to the train.

Following the recent spate of incidents Corbett said NJ Transit has had "rail maintenance supervisors positioned at Newark Penn Station to inspect trains."

He said that NJ Transit is working with Amtrak to identify the root cause of the problems that seem to be centered on the track between New York and Newark.

"What we can say is that we operate approximately 700 trains every weekday along hundreds of miles of track on 11 rail lines with the same equipment and these incidents are mainly occurring on just this one stretch of track," Corbett said in his statement.

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Fire along the tracks near Secaucus (NJ Transit)
Fire along the tracks near Secaucus 6/20/24 (NJ Transit)


It's the second commute in a row that has created headaches for rail commuters. A malfunctioning circuit breaker caused power loss on the tracks between New York Penn Station and Newark Penn Station.

There was also a small wildfire just south of the Secaucus station in an area between the New Jersey Turnpike and the tracks that slowed traffic on the rails and the highway.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., 6th District, sympathized with commuters having deal with NJ Transit's "appalling week.

"This is a dire situation for commuters who rely on public transportation to get to and from work. Immediate action and better coordination are needed to prevent such disruptions and to ensure a reliable transit system for the public," Pallone said in a statement. "My constituents deserve better, and I will continue to fight for improvements to our transportation infrastructure."

Pallone sent a letter to Amtrak officials on May 24 after electrical issues caused a suspension of service during the evening commute. He was not impressed with their response.

"While Amtrak’s letter expressed regret and outlined plans for future improvements, the response lacks immediate solutions for the ongoing issues. Despite acknowledging coordination efforts with NJ Transit, the letter did not offer concrete actions to prevent these problems from recurring in the short term," Pallone wrote.


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