Railroad Bridge Struck by Boat Causes Amtrak Delays

Amtrak briefly suspended service on its Empire line after a railroad bridge was struck by a boat at the northern tip of Manhattan.

The vessel hit the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge at 4:20 p.m. Sunday, said Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods.

The structure is a railroad swing bridge that spans the Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx — where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet.

There were no injuries, but the rail line suspended service until the bridge was inspected for structural damage.

Lines formed at Penn Station as hundreds of travelers were forced to figure out how to get where they need to go.

"It's extremely frustrating. We've been here for four hours. Like that guy said, no one's been telling us anything. We've had to ask questions and get vague answers. It's been really annoying," passenger Annie Reilly said. 

Alvin Shatkin, who lives in the Bronx, sees boats go through all the time. He said he wasn't surprised that a boat clipped the bridge. He said boat traffic sometimes builds up and the water can be choppy." 

"It must be the Circle Liners. They have some difficulty negotiating sometimes. The currents are pretty treacherous." 

Amtrak reported at about 8:30 p.m. that train service had resumed along the line with minor delays. 

People waiting in line started to cheer when the announcement was made, but there were still plenty of residual delays. 

And while some passengers were able to take Metro-North. Other passengers said Amtrak could have done a better job keeping them informed.

"Terrible service. They really need to address this. They've left a lot of people hanging for hours. It's been very frustrating," passenger Donald James said. 

It's unclear if the delays will persist through Memorial Day, when plenty of people will be traveling home on the line. 

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