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Amtrak: Service back to normal

Mark Berman

Video about Amtrak's power problems

4;35 P.M. UPDATE: Amtrak says service between Washington and New York and Philadelphia and Harrisburg is back to normal for the evening rush hour following an early morning service disruption.

Amtrak said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that about 30 Amtrak trains were delayed from 11 minutes to almost two hours because of a low voltage problem earlier in the day. The disruption began shortly before 8 a.m. and power was restored about an hour later.

The cause of the outage is under investigation.

-- Associated Press

12:35 P.M. UPDATE: MARC Train 520 is expected to depart Washington 20 minutes late due to late equipment arrival, officials said.

12:20 P.M. UPDATE: MARC says all trains on the Penn Line are operating on time in both directions.

10:40 A.M. UPDATE: Train 416 on the Penn Line is expected to operate 15 to 20 minutes late because of the earlier delays, the MTA said.

10:30 A.M. UPDATE: Power problems forced Amtrak and regional transit agencies to halt trains throughout the Northeast for more than an hour Tuesday during the middle of the morning rush.

Amtrak said low-voltage troubles forced it to suspend service between New York City and Washington, and between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., starting at 7:45 a.m. The exact cause of the problem wasn't immediately known, Amtrak spokesman Steve Coleman said.

The power problems also forced the Maryland Transit Administration, NJ Transit, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to halt their trains.

In Washington's Union Station, Airicka Pearson, 21, was waiting to go to Baltimore with her 1-year-old daughter Airiell Rivers. Her 8:20 a.m. train had been delayed more than an hour.

She said she frequently takes the train and that delays are routine. "It's kind of hit and miss with them," she said.

-- Associated Press

Were you affected by the outage? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to

10:15 A.M. UPDATE: MARC trains are still running about 30 minutes behind schedule, said Dave Clark, a spokesman for the Maryland Transit Administration. Train 414, scheduled to leave Union Station at 9:30 a.m., left at 10 a.m., Clark said. MARC canceled three trains this morning during the outage.

-- Katherine Shaver

9:26 A.M. UPDATE: MTA says the power continues to be restored and both northbound and southbound trains are starting to move. Passengers should expect major delays. The one spot of good news is that Train 521 is currently operating on time, according to the MTA.

9:15 A.M. UPDATE: Train 415 is running about 50 minutes late, last reported at Bowie Station at 9:09 a.m. MTA says power should be restored soon.

9:10 A.M. UPDATE: Northbound MARC Trains 406, 408, 410 and 414 and southbound Trains 513, 417 and 419 are all terminated, according to the MTA.

8:58 A.M. UPDATE: The Maryland Transit Administration says all Penn Line trains except Train 415 are stopped. Amtrak is sending a diesel locomotive to pick up Train 513.

8:55 A.M. UPDATE:

The Post's Steven Luxenburg is stuck on a MARC train. He reports that the conductor just said the plan is to send diesel engines out to rescue passengers.

It's been nearly an hour, and so far nothing on the power outage has been posted to Amtrak's Web site or Twitter feed.

8:50 A.M. UPDATE:

Some updates for MARC riders, from the Maryland Transit Administration's Dave Clark:

-- Metro is honoring MARC tickets.

-- Buses are taking people from Union Station northbound and making the stops for trains 406 and 408.

-- Buss are taking people from New Carrollton southbound to Union Station. (MARC trains are stopping at New Carrollton and people are taking the buses from there to Union Station.)

-- They're waiting to hear from Amtrak about a timetable, he says.

8:45 A.M. UPDATE:
According to NJ Transit, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service is being restored with delays of 60 to 90 minutes. We've called Amtrak and are awaiting comment from the company.

8:40 A.M. UPDATE:
All Amtrak service is reportedly suspended on the Northeast Corridor.


All of MARC's Penn Line service is suspended due to a power failure

By Mark Berman  | August 24, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Amtrak, MARC  
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Next: Minnesota Ave. reopens after crash


That sucks. I am heading to the Phillies game on Thursday afternoon from D.C. and hoping that whatever issues are being experienced today, are resolved within the next 48 hours!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | August 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

9:15---Still nothing on Amtrak's web site. Typical for Amtrak's horrible customer service. Please somebody replace that arrogant management team

Posted by: Amtraker | August 24, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Communication to their customers is not one of Amtrak's strong points.

Posted by: tj722 | August 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

the trains company must facilat,comfort the passengers,to attract more clients.

Posted by: hlmelsaid761 | August 24, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I was on the 7:20 express from Union Station to Penn Station, and just as the train passed the West Baltimore station, the power went off. We sat there an hour before we got off the train and walked about 50 yards back to the West Baltimore station, where we caught a bus to Penn Station.

Posted by: linroy62 | August 24, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

My nightmare story: Had a meeting in NYC at 1 p.m. today. Got on the 8 a.m. Acela. After sitting on the train in the station for an hour, they offloaded us and put is on a diesel train, which they said would leave the station. Then we saw all sorts of other trains leaving the station. They said that power just came back on, but now we were on a diesel train and they had to switch our engine to electric. I got off the train, prepared to cancel my trip. Then I heard a final boarding announcement for another Acela that would get me to NYC for my meeting only 15 minutes late. I RAN onto that train, switching my ticket at the last minute. The Amtrak employee on board told us there was no way that train would arrive on time. The train started to move - then there was an announcement: "stop the train. A first class passenger wants to disembark." I hopped off the train with her, then stood in line at the Amtrak ticket counter to reimburse my ticket (2 hours after my arrival at Union Station). FINALLY headed home, and was stuck on a Red Line METRO train for 10 minutes due to a track switch problem at Silver Spring Station. Retrieved my car from the parking garage, but was charged for a lost ticket because I pulled in so early this morning that the ticket dispensing machines weren't working. UGH!

Posted by: brownljb | August 24, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It's probably PEPCO's fault.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 24, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@ brownljb: You win the "my day sucked" award. Next time, try a teleconferencing service (although Comcast will no doubt have an outage that day).

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 24, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@ brownljb: You win the "my day sucked" award. Next time, try a teleconferencing service (although Comcast will no doubt have an outage that day).

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 24, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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