A track issue in one of Amtrak’s East River tunnels snarled morning service on the Long Island Rail Road Thursday and left hundreds of passengers aboard one train stranded just outside the tube for nearly two hours, officials said.
The Penn Station-bound No. 407 LIRR train carrying 500 commuters left Port Washington, LI at 5:09 a.m. and became disabled at 5:48 a.m. when it encountered a problem with the third rail, according to LIRR officials.
The situation prompted an FDNY rescue operation and passengers from that train were transferred onto an LIRR diesel train to Queens.
Stranded commuters boarded the rescue train at 7:50 a.m. and made it to the Hunterspoint Avenue station 8 a.m. where they were cross-honored by New York City Transit on the 7 train, officials said.
No injuries were reported, but the situation caused massive delays on the LIRR and resulted in the rerouting or cancellation of 17 trains.
The LIRR said that the third rail stretch of track where the issue occurred is owned and maintained by Amtrak.
Amtrak tweeted that the stalled train, along with a “power issue” was causing delays north and east of the Big Apple.
Trains traveling into Penn Station were delayed an average of 20 to 25 minutes, officials said.
Frustrated commuters took to Twitter during the chaos.
“Stuck on a powerless train for an hour and a half. Finally got onto the rescue train.that’s @LIRR for you. Lol,” tweeted Irene Christine.
Twitter user @snark23 tweeted at Gov. Cuomo and the LIRR saying: “Stuck on Lirr train, part of our normal lives!#deservebetter.”
After arriving at Hunterspoint Avenue station, rider Marisa Baglio, 38, of Bayshore said, “It’s frustrating. I have no choice, but to take it.”
“I wish I had more options so that I could boycott [the LIRR], but our hands are tied,” said Baglio who was late to work for her finance job in Manhattan.
One woman who was so late to her job that she hopped in an Uber from the station said the transit issues are “happening way too often.”
New York City Transit is cross-honoring LIRR tickets at Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Hunterspoint Avenue and Woodside.
Additional reporting by Daniel Prendergast