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Disabled Amtrak train in Hudson Tunnel snarls NJ Transit trains

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New Jersey Transit riders experienced delays Friday morning due to an Amtrak work train becoming disabled in the North Tube of the Hudson River tunnel.

This is the second major delay of NJ Transit trains this week, after the 108-year-old Portal Bridge became stuck in the open position Tuesday night.

“Today's delays would not have happened with a new Gateway tunnel, which will create badly needed resiliency so trains can operate around minor disruptions without wreaking havoc on the entire Northeast Corridor rail system,” Gateway Program Development Corp. Chairman Steven Cohen, Vice Chairman Tony Coscia and trustee Jerry Zaro said in a statement. “There is simply no more time to waste in building a new Portal Bridge and Hudson River Tunnel to finally bring 21st-century transportation to 200,000 passengers a day."

Gateway is responsible for planning the estimated $20 billion infrastructure project, which will feature the first new tunnel to be built under the Hudson River in more than 80 years, and the first since the completion of the existing tubes in 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, R-21st District, called for the agency to take immediate action to prevent future problems.

“I’ve heard from countless commuters that whenever they think things are as bad as they can possibly be on our rails, NJ Transit finds a way to prove them wrong,” Kean said in a statement. “After so many repeated failures to deliver safe and reliable service, there’s no more time for excuses from Transit’s management. Commuters deserve to hear from the leadership at NJ Transit what contingency plans they can implement today to improve service.”

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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