Travelers were trapped on a train from New York to New Jersey for ten hours in the dark with no bathrooms or electricity after the tracks were flooded by Storm Ida.
NJ Transit’s Train 3881 left New York’s Penn Station at 7:43 p.m. on Wednesday and was en route to Trenton when it was disabled around 8:30 p.m. east of Newark International Airport, a spokesperson for the transportation agency said. CNN.
Passengers crammed into cars at one end of the train after three cars got an inch or so of water at the other end, according to NJ Transit. Just a few hours after they were stranded, the train’s air conditioning and ventilation went with the electricity.
The 200 or so passengers on board got some relief when police arrived and opened the doors to give them water around 4am – but they were left stranded until a rescue train could tow them to the Newark Airport station.
From there, the passengers were able to board other trains — with various stories telling CNN that they didn’t arrive at their destination until well after 7 a.m.
Ilia Rivera wrote in a post on social media that she was stuck on the train since 7:43 pm
Travelers were stuck on a train from New York to New Jersey for 10 hours in the dark with no bathrooms or electricity after the tracks were flooded by Storm Ida
Rivera noted that rescue teams had stopped near the train for hours, but hadn’t rescued the passengers
Rivera noted that a rescue train had finally arrived around 5:05 a.m., before she had to disembark at Newark International Airport.
Twitter user Hue Hardon was apparently also on the train, writing: “The water is soooo high. Look at the picture. I see ground to exit the train, but no word from the crew. No plan. No possibility to get out and walk home. No lighting in a train without ventilation.’
Camilla Akbari, 24, told the outlet that she was leaving the Big Apple to visit her mother in Princeton, New Jersey.
She said that after being trapped on the train, it took her four more hours to reach her mother’s house – two on another train to Trenton and two in the car after her mother picked her up as she walked through flooded streets. drove to Princeton. .
On a typical day, the journey from Penn Station to Princeton takes just over an hour.
“We were literally and figuratively in the dark for hours,” Akbari told CNN, claiming officials had been making false promises to them all night.
She said excited passengers started smoking cigarettes and marijuana while others were about to have panic attacks.
Akbari said she also started to panic and trembled by the time the doors opened around 4am, adding that it has become easier to look back now that she is no longer stranded.
“I found myself shaking a bit, I got tears in my eyes just because I was so overwhelmed by the situation. So it was definitely scary,” she said.
She added: “It was definitely an adventure.”
A photo from NJ Transit shows floodwater retreating from the tracks in the system after the storm
A photo from NJ Transit shows the Oradell Bus Garage filled with water after the storm
DailyMail.com has reached out to Akbari and other passengers for more information and additional comments.
Akbari and other passengers shared how they were told the train had suffered a mechanical problem and that they would have to wait for a rescue train that would take hours to reach them.
Alexandra Patino, 30, was on her way from Queens to see her boyfriend in Edison, New Jersey – where she arrived around 7am
“The updates were so terrible and nobody really let us know what was going on,” she said.
Ilia Rivera, 30, jumped on another train to Elizabeth, New Jersey and reached her destination around 7 a.m. She told CNN that the water was almost as high as the windows of the train.
“I’m literally sitting next to the window and I can see the water almost on my level,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Should I swim out of here?'”
Passengers and family members responded on Twitter to news of the stranded train
Rivera noted that rescue teams had arrived hours before the rescue train arrived, but had done nothing to get the passengers off the train.
In a tweet at around 3 a.m., NJ Transit said crews from the Newark transportation agency and the Newark Fire Department were on the scene and “trying desperately to get the rescue vehicles to the train.”
‘However, the water around the train is simply too high for a safe evacuation. The train is safest at the moment as first responders explore other options,” NJ Transit tweeted.
A spokesperson for NJ Transit told CNN, “The decision to keep the customers on the train was the safest choice because the rail cars were raised sufficiently above the flood waters.”
Ian Wolsten, 27, was returning home from work in East Brunswick, New Jersey, and eventually came home around 6:45 a.m. after boarding another train to the Metro Park stop, he told CNN.
“Once the power was cut off from the trains, it was absolutely helpless,” Wolsten said.
“It’s one thing it’s pitch black in there because we’re sleeping anyway, but there was no air conditioning and no ventilation, so you think with COVID, it’s like, ‘What the hell is going to happen if the air isn’t going anywhere? ‘
He added: “It just got disturbing really quickly.”
Twitter user Hue Hardon was also apparently on the train and wrote sarcastically: “The water is soooo high. Look at the picture. I see ground to exit the train, but no word from the crew. No plan.’
“No option to get out and walk home. On a train with no ventilation, no lights,” Hardon tweeted.
Many others also took to Twitter to ask NJ Transit for help because they were trapped on train 3881.
NJ Transit had suspended all train services on Wednesday except the Atlantic City Rail Line, though most train services have since resumed with significant delays.
“Clients should avoid travel unless absolutely necessary,” the agency’s website reads.
“NJ TRANSIT service will continue to be subject to significant delays, cancellations and diversions as storm damage is assessed and necessary inspections are made.”
New Yorkers were also stuck overnight at Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway stations across the Big Apple.
The subway system was flooded in 46 locations, leaving 15 to 20 subways stranded, said Janno Lieber – the acting chairman of the MTA. Two of the MTA’s Metro North commuter trains were also stranded.
Frank Dwyer, spokesman for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), told CNN that firefighters had to rescue hundreds of people from subway stations.
Nurse Beverly Pryce took an Uber from her home in New York City’s Queens borough to a bus station to try to get to work, but no buses were running.
She said she was stuck at the station until she got on train 7 which took her to Times Square where she arrived 11:30 pm and had to stay out the night.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. ‘I didn’t expect it to be this bad. I wouldn’t leave my house.’
Robert Hedglin left work in Manhattan around 9 p.m. and finally reached his home in Queens early Thursday morning.
He told CNN that his train was stuck underground for more than an hour between two train stations, where he was forced to get off.
Hedglin sat at a bar until 12:30pm, when he went to a restaurant because… no taxis to go home. He was finally able to take a Lyft ride for $104.
“I’m exhausted, frustrated, but at least I got home safely. Some of the others weren’t so lucky,’ Hedglin said.