NJ Transit train

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NJ Terrible strikes again: Balky swing bridge strands commuters

October 31, 2018 - 7:19 am

KEARNY, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A day after NJ Transit commuters were trapped in a broken-down train, more commuters faced a hellish ride home when a swing bridge got stuck and stranded them for more than an hour.

The notorious, 110-year-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River swung open to let a ship pass under but would not snap back into place during the Tuesday night rush.

The ensuing nightmare backed up rush-hour trains for 90 minutes, stranding trains and passengers in and out of Penn Station.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on. I just know I can’t get home to my babies,” one woman told 1010 WINS' John Montone.

“Dinner’s probably cold by now, by the time I get home,” another man said.

One commuter lost her cool and went on a tirade against a conductor. In audio of the encounter, the woman can be heard raising her voice, saying, in part: “You think this is acceptable to treat human beings this way?”

Amtrak owns the bridge, but that didn’t make one rider feel any better.

“NJ Transit blames Amtrak, Amtrak blames NJ Transit. And it’s just been too much. It’s been too often,” he said.

Gov. Phil Murphy offered no excuses, saying: “The notion of getting people off the damn train into a safer place, certainly a place that’s moving, that’s safe, is a huge objective of hours.”

But for riders, it’s been one issue after another. On Monday, they faced another nightmarish ride when the train they were on broke down on a bridge east of Newark.

“It is crowded, uncomfortably hot, and we don’t know when we’ll get home,” one rider tweeted.