Amtrak Trains Face Severe Delays Out of Penn Station Due to Damaged Wires

By Ben Fractenberg and Dana Varinsky  on September 11, 2013 4:33pm  | Updated on September 11, 2013 4:49pm

 Damaged wires south of Philadelphia caused massive delays and commuter headaches at Penn Station on Wednesday Sept. 11, 2013.
Damaged wires south of Philadelphia caused massive delays and commuter headaches at Penn Station on Wednesday Sept. 11, 2013.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

MIDTOWN — Penn Station commuters traveling on Amtrak Wednesday afternoon faced up to three-hour delays because of damaged overhead wires in Maryland.

Service was disrupted between Philadelphia and D.C. from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., an Amtrak spokesman said. The suspension caused residual delays at Penn Station.

Partial service resumed at 2 p.m. when one track was reopened, but trains out of New York were a mess of delays as commuters attempted to get out of the city Wednesday.

"Crews will continue working though the night to restore full service in time for the morning rush hour on Thursday," officials with the passenger railway said.

That didn't help travelers waiting in Penn Station Wednesday afternoon.

Babette Rittmeyer was scheduled to head back to Boston on a 1 p.m. train after visiting an ailing family member.

"I was visiting my 96-year-old cousin who's in hospice in Brooklyn and I left her this morning to make that train," said Rittmeyer. "And to think I would have had hours more time with her."

Her train finally arrived about 4:30 p.m.

Rebecca Davis, of Bentonville, Arkansas, in the city on business and had extended her trip to visit her 19-year-old niece in Boston. They were supposed to have dinner Wednesday night.

"I have a really limited time to get to see her," Davis said.

Other commuters complained about not being given information about the length of delays.

"No one at Penn Station told us about the suspended service. Poor communications just make folks angrier." tweeted @Rizzz.

Riders can check Amtrak's website for estimated arrival and departure times for trains heading to D.C. from Penn Station.

Officials are investigating the cause of the wire damaged near Elkton, Maryland.

Passengers who bought tickets to travel on Wednesday, but did not board the train will receive a refund or a voucher for a future trip.

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