A live electrical wire was knocked down onto an NJ Transit train filled with 1,000 passengers near Newark Penn Station Tuesday evening, halting the train for nearly two hours while authorities worked to remove it, officials say.
The New Brunswick-bound train, which originally left New York's Penn Station at 5:45 p.m., was stopped outside the tunnel near Newark Penn Station, according to officials. NJ Transit crews kept passengers on the train as they disabled the electrical wire and moved it.
Gary Woodruff of Metuchen, one of the passengers on board, said conductors told riders there was "a little bit of a problem. He said it might be 20 minutes, a half-hour. It ended up being an hour and 50 minutes."
"It was frustrating, everyone was frustrated, sighing the entire time," said another passenger.
The train was then pulled back to the station at around 8 p.m., and passengers were transferred to another train to continue their commute.
The transit agency says the train was heated during the delay, but riders disputed that. Temperatures outside were in the single digits.
"I was feeling the heating system, it was probably 40 degrees," said Woodruff. "It felt like you were touching a piece of ice."
The stranded train led to 45-minute delays along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines Tuesday evening.
"This happens all the time. Jersey Transit, they should be embarrassed," said Woodruff.
"People are just tired, on the coldest day of the year this had to happen," said Tom Putko of Matawan.
It's not clear what caused the wire to go down, but officials are looking into whether wind and freezing temperatures played a role.