NJ Transit

‘They Forgot Us:’ NJ Transit Riders Decry 4-Hour Tunnel Nightmare

At one point, the schedule board displayed that almost every train out of Penn Station had been canceled

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What to Know

  • Power outage contributed to massive delays for NJ Transit commuters to and from Penn Station on Monday night
  • The transit agency said delays were up to two hours, but some riders said they were stuck for more than twice as long
  • Crowds finally started to thin out at Penn Station as the night wore on, and morning commute did not appear to be impacted

"They forgot us."

Those were the words of one NJ Transit rider who said he and other passengers were forgotten in the Hudson River tunnel Monday night. Facebook user Matty Lloyd said that led to a four-hour delay -- and they only reason they eventually got off the train was because he called cops, he said.

The nightmare started with power-related delays for multiple trains at the peak of the evening rush. At one point, the schedule board displayed that almost every train out of Penn Station had been canceled.

NJ Transit first tweeted that there were 30-minute delays between the city and New Jersey due to a disabled commuter train on the tracks. But shortly after, the agency said on Twitter that overhead power issues were also impacting the delays.

That was enough to cause a firestorm on social media, with many riders complaining they had been trapped on trains stuck inside the south tube tunnel for hours, both into and out of the station. Others took pictures of conditions on the trains, with aisles full of standing riders crowded aboard.

Finally, trains were more or less moving again except, allegedly, one.

"They believed all trains were resolved and ours was in the yard," Lloyd wrote on Facebook, saying cops put him in touch with NJ Transit when he called. "They don't even know where trains are. After I called they contacted Amtrak and realized we were still left on the rails. To quote the NJT employee, 'This is the most embarrassing day of my life.'"

Some stuck riders feared the delay might cost them employment.

"I might get fired from my job because I didn't go today so," said Chelsea Weekes. "I got on the train at 4 p.m., I didn't get off the train until 8:30 p.m.? 9 p.m.?"

Others who have become all too familiar with NJ Transit's struggles said it's more of the same from the transit agency.

"I've been working since 6 in the morning, it's late but this happens all the time," said Stephanie Geffner. "I know they have to fix things, it's a mess."

Officials later told NBC New York that power was lost on the tracks just outside Penn Station around 4:30 p.m. Power was restored later on in the evening, long after many riders' nights had been ruined. The agency said delays were up to two hours, but some riders said they were stuck for more than twice as long.

Crowds finally started to thin out at Penn Station as the night wore on, and the Tuesday morning commute did not appear to be impacted.

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