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Amtrak and N.J. Transit Service Resumes After Rush-Hour Meltdown

After downed power cables completely halted rush-hour train service along the Northeast Corridor south of New York City on Wednesday night, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak service appeared to be nearly back to normal Thursday morning.

New Jersey Transit warned customers that they should continue to expect delays and cancellations on Thursday morning as a result of the prior night’s technical issues, according to a social media post around 5 a.m. On the agency’s website, there were alerts of possible delays for nearly every train line.

Amtrak trains between New York and Washington were also expected to experience continued delays, according to an 8 a.m. update on Amtrak’s website.

The power outage occurred just after 5 p.m. after overhead power cables fell down in Kearny, N.J., and disrupted service between New York and Newark. The resulting backups affected stations as far south as Washington.

An Amtrak spokesman, Jason Abrams, said on Thursday that a signal wire had come in contact with the catenary‚ the overhead cables that provide electrical power to trains, and caused a “blowout.” Mr. Abrams said that the disruption was unrelated to construction of a replacement for the Portal Bridge that carries trains over the Hackensack River in Kearny.

That was the second time this week that Amtrak’s wiring had caused a disruption of train service in the metropolitan area.

On Tuesday morning, problems with wires in a tunnel under the Hudson River led to delays of as much as an hour for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains. Amtrak owns Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and the tracks and tunnels that connect the station to New Jersey and points to the south.

On Wednesday, some commuters were stranded at Penn Station in Manhattan, America’s busiest rail hub, late into the night as they waited for trains that had been scheduled to depart hours earlier. Some trains bound for the station ended service as far away as Philadelphia, leaving travelers to find a new route.

By 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, southbound service out of Pennsylvania Station had resumed.

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