Photos and rants about delayed trains, huge crowds and impatient travelers at Penn Station grew to a pitch on social media Tuesday evening after NJ Transit announced that trains coming into and out of the New York City hub were all delayed roughly 25 minutes because of a disabled train on the tracks.
According to NJ Transit spokeswoman Courtney Carroll, an inbound Amtrak train became disabled "outside the mouth of one of the tunnels outside Penn" at about 5:30 p.m. The train was cleared just before 6 p.m., she said, but "unfortunately because it happened just at the height of rush hour, that's when we have the heaviest volume of trains going in and out of the tunnel and that caused congestion that has lingered throughout the peak period."
Carroll said NJ Transit is still experiencing delays in and out of New York City of 30-40 minutes.
According to their Twitter feed, Metro North trains on the New Haven line were also experiencing delays of as much as 90 minutes because of "residual signal problems in the vicinity of South Norwalk."
The LIRR had reported that it is on or close to schedule after experiencing scattered delays of 10 to 15 minutes systemwide because of "slip-slide" conditions during the evening rush.
Slip-slide is caused by "crushed leaves on the rails" that the railroad said leave an "oily residue" buildup on rail surfaces, forcing some trains to operate at slower-than-normal speeds.
The delays for the major rail road providers came as a crush of holiday travelers are leaving the city for the Thanksgiving holiday, making rush hour travel even more chaotic than usual.