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Cancellations, delays and derailments – it was a tough week for commuting

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NEWARK -

It was a difficult week for commuting around New Jersey by rail this week, with major delays and cancellations by New Jersey Transit.

A stuck train on Monday left some riders stuck for about two hours outside Newark Broad Street Station. On Tuesday the Amtrak Portal Bridge was stuck in the up position, causing delays. Those delays lasted through Monday. And Friday morning an Amtrak train derailed in a tunnel, causing delays all over New Jersey into the afternoon.

NJ Transit customers tell News 12 New Jersey that they are frustrated but not surprised.

"It’s very frustrating. Particularly today we had a funeral to go to and it all had to be held up for about an hour and a half,” said Nancy Greenbaum.

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"You can leave an hour early. You can leave two hours early and it's like no matter how early something still goes wrong,” says Betty Collins.

Gov. Phil Murphy slammed the federal government this week for a lapse in funding to help fix the infrastructure. It was just a day after he rode NJ Transit himself to Newark.

"If you’re a commuter and you're frustrated I don’t blame you one bit. We will fix this. We need the federal government, we need Amtrak to help us fix it but we will fix it,” he said.

Some riders say that the issues should be a push for the Gateway Tunnel Project to move forward.

"We’re way behind on replacing a smart, good infrastructure in this nation,” says Stephen Sigmund with the Gateway Tunnel Program. “This is a critical piece of infrastructure; not only for the region, but for the nation."

News 12 New Jersey reached out to NJ Transit for comment, but a spokesperson referred all comment to Amtrak.

An Amtrak spokesperson apologized for Friday’s delays and said that the derailment took eight hours to clear.

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