Create a free account to continue

Amtrak Power Problems Plague New Jersey Transit Rail Riders

New Jersey Transit trains are delayed because of Amtrak overhead wire problems.

Mnet 47109 Amtrak Ap 640x480

The phrase has become all too familiar to commuters who ride the trains between New Jersey and New York: New Jersey Transit trains are delayed because of Amtrak overhead wire problems.

Friday's commute got off on the wrong track when Amtrak power problems caused delays for Amtrak and NJ Transit riders for the fourth time this week, adding to a summer that has seen delays of a half hour or more an average of about once every three working days, according to a review of NJ Transit messages to riders.

Amtrak was restricted to operating three trains at a time through the Hudson River Tunnel Friday, spokesman Craig Schultz said in an email.

The latest problem came two days after Amtrak power problems on Wednesday delayed thousands of commuters from getting to and from New York City. NJ Transit was forced to suspend service in and out of the city and the agency apologized on Twitter to riders, saying the "quality of the commute last few days has been unacceptable, we share your frustration." The transit agency said it had "contacted Amtrak at highest levels seeking solution."

Amtrak has said it needs money to repair and replace infrastructure dating to the 1930s associated with the 105-year-old rail tunnel.

NJ Transit trains have been delayed by 15 minutes or more into New York at least seven times this month and 14 times since June 1 because of problems the transit agency blamed on Amtrak, according to a review of messages posted on their Twitter account. Most of the delays were blamed on overhead wire, signal and switch problems.

Between Amtrak and NJ Transit problems and trespassers, trains have been delayed by at least 15 minutes 18 times in the last 54 days. Twelve of those delays lasted at least 30 minutes, including a half hour delay caused by a disabled New Jersey Transit train last week.

Compounding frustration for those who ride the rails to and from work, the delays come after NJ Transit's board on July 15 approved raising fares for bus and rail riders by about 9 percent starting in October.

More in Industry 4.0