Amtrak train at Penn Station derails, hits NJ Transit train, officials say

The Amtrak train “sideswiped” the NJ Transit train, officials said.

An Amtrak train derailed and “sideswiped” a New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station Friday morning, officials said. 

While it was leaving the station at “a slow speed” around 9 a.m., the Acela Express Train 2151 derailed, Amtrak said. One wheel of the train came off the track, police said. 

The train then made contact with NJ Transit train #6214 on the Montclair-Boonton line, the agencies said. The train, carrying about 1,000 passengers, was heading to NJ Transit Track 3 in Penn Station at a slow speed when it was struck by the derailed Acela train. 

The rear car of the Amtrak train was still at the platform, and all 249 passengers were able to return to the platform safely. NJ Transit said there were minor injuries among customers and crew, but the train made it to the platform where everyone got off safely.

A NJ Transit rider tweeted photos of the train that was hit by the Amtrak train. “Blew my window out and into me. Thankfully everyone is okay,” he wrote.

NJ Transit service in and out of Penn Station was suspended until 4 p.m., when limited service resumed, the agency said. An overhead announcement at Penn Station urged people to take the PATH at 33rd Street where NJ Transit tickets are being honored. 

Alex de Chaves, of Pleasantville, New York, said he was trying to take a train from Penn Station to Secaucus, one stop into New Jersey.

“It’s a little frustrating,” he said. “They said it’s going to be a while so I’ve already given up.” He added he would take the PATH or an Uber, instead of waiting for NJ Transit service to resume. 

Amtrak and LIRR service was also impacted because of the incident.

Laura Fortenbaugh, of Manhattan, was waiting for an Amtrak train to Hudson, New York, that was supposed to leave at 11:20 a.m. At about 11:25, they still had not called a track, and she said she didn’t know how long it would be delayed.

“Maybe I’ll just travel tomorrow,” she said.

NJ Transit said crews are inspecting the extent of the damage to train #6214. The agency said it’s working with Amtrak and federal officials “as the investigation moves forward.”

With Lauren Cook

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