RED BANK — New Jersey Transit riders on a North Jersey Coast Line train had to deal with a different type of backup on Tuesday.

Rider Carl Schellenberger was one of several riders to post pictures and video of the water that filled the aisle of his double-decker train.

"NJ Transit is not waxing the floors, all toilet water," he tweeted.

Schellenberger told New Jersey 101.5 that in his 30 years of commuting into New York he had never seen anything quite like it before. "Sometimes you see a toilet overflow but this was the modern version of 'The Blob.' It just kept coming and coming. The water started off clear and took on a brown tint," Schellenberger siad.

He and the passenger next to him were nearly overcome by combination of chemicals and feces in the car. "She had a turtleneck on so she pulled it over her face to mask the fumes," Schellenberger said.

Schellenberger said that was sitting near the bathroom and moved to the lower level. "I was looking at Twitter and somebody had posted a video of some clear water spilling on the floor. Instead of sitting down there because the space is confining I decided to stretch my legs., I get out of my seat and I see the water on the floor and I said 'oh God this is the water the guy is tweeting about.'"

When the train got to Matawan, Schellenberger said an annoucement was made about a "water condition" and that anyone on the car had to exit.

Schellenberger said a different car was used for Wednesday's commute.

NBC 4 New York reported the water looked to be coming from a bathroom between the two levels of the train and down the stairs. NJ Transit said it is looking into the problem, according to the report.

NJ Transit commuters were spared a "sewage shower" on Wednesday when a leak from 2 Penn Plaza cascaded liquid out of the ceiling over the the concourse for racks 18 and 19, according to NBC 4 New York. "It’s in the LIRR area of the station," Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert told New Jersey 101.5 in an email, adding that operations were not affected.

The leak caused a stench inside the terminal and workers were mopping up the water, according to the report.


Riders will have real backups to deal with this summer, according to Amtrak's preliminary plan for its New York Penn Station infrastructure project, with 44 days of "continuous rail service curtailments" planned for July 7 through July 28 and again Aug. 4 through Aug. 28.

The preliminary plan came out of a meeting between NJ Transit, the Long Island Rail Road, and Amtrak on Monday.

"Our commuter partners are currently reviewing the initial plan and developing individual service plans. We will reconvene with both partners on Thursday for further development," spokeswoman Chelsea Kopta told New Jersey 101.5 in an email. Kopta would not provide a copy of that plan.

NJ Transit executive director Steve Santoro, in a message posted on the NJT website, said that the rail agency's operating staff is "thoroughly reviewing the plan to determine its impact on our customers."

Meanwhile, the office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said Tuesday an agreement has been reached in Congress to boost funding for Amtrak to $1.495 billion for the coming fiscal year, a $105 million increase over last year and the highest total since 2010. A $328 million grant would go toward the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., which includes Penn Station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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