NEWARK, N.J. — Power problems forced Amtrak and regional transit agencies to halt trains throughout the Northeast for more than an hour Tuesday during the middle of the morning rush, stranding travelers in an all-too-familiar refrain.
Amtrak said low-voltage troubles forced it to suspend service between New York City and Washington, and between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., starting at 7:45 a.m.
The exact cause of the problem wasn't immediately known, but Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero said it was more widespread than usual. Amtrak was focusing its investigation on the area between Washington and Perryville, Md., Romero said.
The railroad was also trying to tally the numbers of passengers affected.
The electrical problems also forced NJ Transit, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Maryland Transit Administration to halt their trains.
At Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, business travelers stood around, messaging on cell phones as all the trains on the schedule board were listed as delayed. Shortly after 9 a.m., railroad workers announced to waiting passengers that power had been restored and all trains would begin moving shortly.
Amtrak expected residual delays throughout Tuesday morning.
Riders on NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast trains faced delays of up to 90 minutes. Philadelphia's SEPTA said commuters would face delays of up to an hour.
The Maryland Transit Administration also was forced to cancel a handful of trains.
The shutdown derailed the ride to work for commuters for the second time this month. On Aug. 11, a fallen tree knocked out power and rail signals, delaying East Coast trains for up to two hours.
Harold Kirsten, 60, of Avon, Conn., had to stay overnight in Philadelphia because storms canceled his flight Monday evening, and was having a tough time leaving Tuesday morning because of the train delays. He was trying to make his way to Newark, N.J., for a business meeting.