Train Nightmares

I really hope, dear readers, that none of you were intending to take Amtrak’s Metroliner or Acela trains to New York and back today, or were planning on using the MARC rail system. This morning around 8am, Amtrak lost power along their entire DC to NY train route, causing trains to get stuck in the tunnels in Baltimore and beneath the Hudson River in New York. One train was stuck in Baltimore and evacuated, and four more were stuck in the Hudson River Tunnel.

As of now, power has been restored between DC and Perryville, MD and between NY Penn and Trenton, NJ, and trains have been moved from their tunnels, however, rail service between the two cities is still disrupted.

MARC rail is fairly well disrupted at this time, with their website status reading:

Train # 408 has been delayed and is sitting at the Odenton Station.

Train # 410 will take passengers off train #408 at the Odenton Station and will be moving under diesel power.

Train # 412 will move under diesel power.

Train # 414 will move under diesel power.

Train # 415 has been delayed south of BWI Station.

Train # 417 is holding at Penn Station in Baltimore.

WMATA Metro will honor all MARC tickets.

MARC will update riders as soon as conditions change.

Amtrak is also pretty well barfed, and this may cause out of position problems for train passengers tomorrow and through the weekend. Full service was expected to be returned by 11:15a, but as of now the website for Amtrak isn’t updated, and MARC has gone a full two hours without an update.

Losing power to a backbone transit service like Amtrak and MARC is a pretty big deal, yet no reasons for the outage are currently known, and no explanations are, I suppose, likely to be forthcoming. Nobody likes to say “mea culpa” in this economy when retribution at the stock market or in future contracts tends to be a serious matter that costs jobs, even when it’s the right thing to say.

Here’s hoping it’s sorted by tomorrow afternoon when travel hell-to-pay hits the greater DC region.

1 Comment so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on May 25th, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

    Maybe it’s a super-secret “you wanna cut our subsidies and let us die? Here’s a preview, jerks.”

    Here’s hoping they’ve gotten their crap together by Mon morn when darling girlfriend is using them to get to NYC…

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