An Amtrak train derailment Friday morning resulted in a snarled commute for hundreds of Montclair commuters.
According to NJ Transit, an inbound Montclair-Boonton line train was arriving at Penn Station in New York around 9 a.m. when it was sideswiped by an Amtrak Acela train that had started to come off its own tracks.
NJ Transit stated that there were about 1,000 people aboard the train, and that they were able to exit the train via the station platform. NJ Transit also indicated that some passengers and crew aboard the Montclair-Boonton train sustained minor injuries.
Nicole Le Dour was among the Montclair residents aboard the NJ Transit train. “The impact was jarring and it felt like the train car teetered a bit, but not enough where I felt there was any real danger of coming off the track. We scraped alongside the Amtrak train for several seconds, which caused sparks in between the trains,” she said. “I was seated on the other side of the train so I didn’t have great view of the initial impact.” Several of the passengers were alarmed, LeDour said, but most people on the train remained calm during the incident. “There was no announcement made and I believe that the conductor or other train staff may not have realized there was a collision until after we arrived at the platform.”
Le Dour said that as of 3 p.m., she was doing well. “Just not looking forward to the mess of the commute home!”
James Walker said via email that he was sitting on the opposite side of the car from where the train struck. “I just heard a noise and felt the car move and thought the train was going to come off the tracks,” he said. When he and the other passengers exited the train, they saw scrape marks on the side of the double-decker car. “I didn’t hear any announcement as to what happened so I was shocked to see the damage. I’m just glad that no one was hurt,” he said.
All train service into and out of Penn Station was suspended for the day, and Midtown Direct service was re-routed into Hoboken. Tickets were being cross-honored on other transit modes.
A modified schedule for the evening commute was available on NJ Transit’s website.