Commuter chaos: Power outage leaves commuters stranded on trains for hours

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It was a chaotic commute back to New Jersey Monday night after a power outage left train passengers stranded for hours.

New Jersey Transit says that two separate trains broke down due to an outage in New York which Amtrak was working to fix. However, the location of those two trains became a choke point for trains, causing major delays on the rails.

Matt Lloyd tells News 12 New Jersey that he was stuck on a train for four hours during his commute. He as on board NJ Transit train 3510 from Secaucus to Penn Station after leaving his job in Paterson.

“Eventually they advanced us into the tunnel where we were stuck for about two hours,” Lloyd says. “We were then backtracked out of the tunnel, where we sat for probably about a half-hour.”

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The train was sent back to Secaucus where another train was being made available to the passengers. Some of those passengers got off of the train and took taxis home. But Lloyd said that he stayed on the train because he kept hearing from staff that his train was next to move forward.

But Lloyd’s train was not next, prompting him to call NJ Transit dispatch to find out what was happening. They told him that his train was already in the train yard.

“When the individual told me that we were in the yard and we weren’t in the yard, I knew they did not track where we had moved to correctly,” Lloyd says.

But NJ Transit spokesperson Nancy Snyder says that the agency knows where their trains are at all times. She apologized for the delay, saying in a statement, "The number of trains operating in and out of New York drops by 75% when one of the tunnels is out of service, which makes recovery from delays much more difficult and lengthy."

Snyder added, "Our region is currently dependent on two century-old tunnels into and out of New York City, and incidents like last night only underscore the urgent need for additional tunnels."

Lloyd says that he will now have to decide whether to keep taking the train or start using the bus. He did take the train on Tuesday.

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