Major delays for evening rush at Penn Station after ‘minor’ Amtrak derailment

NEW YORK — Commuters were met with delays and cancelations during evening rush hour at New York's Penn Station following a "minor" Amtrak train derailment Friday morning.

Customers leaving from Penn Station were urged to catch a train on the Long Island Rail Road before 4 p.m. or after 8 p.m., MTA officials said. Trains were running out of four tracks (18 to 21) rather than the normal nine (Tracks 13 to 21).

Twenty-nine trains were canceled during the evening service. LIRR service from Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal, Woodside, Jamaica and Hunterspoint Avenue, Queens were running on normal schedule.

NJ Transit resumed limited service out of Penn Station at 4 p.m. Hourly service into NYC from Trenton and Long Branch, New Jersey were available, but service at Hoboken station was also impacted because of limited tracks.

Amtrak's Acela Express Train 2151, traveling from Boston to Washington D.C., had a "minor derailment while moving at a slow speed" when departing Penn Station around 9 a.m. Friday, a spokeswoman said.

The derailed Amtrak train scraped a NJ Transit train, sources tell PIX11. NJ Transit said "several" people suffered minor injuries, but not specify the number.

Images of the scene show both Amtrak and NJ Transit trains were damaged.

A man claiming to be a passenger on an NJ Transit train tweeted that it collided with another train.

The incident “blew my window out and into me. Thankfully everyone is okay.”

Another woman tweeted that she was on an Amtrak train that derailed, prompting an evacuation.

Among passengers at the station, there was relief that no one was hurt and an understanding that the incident more of a nuisance than anything else.

DC-bound passenger Tom Steindler said it "sounded like we were running over something very metallic." He said they'd barely left the station when the train went off the tracks.

Everyone was "very calm ... and there was a good amount of humor in the car," Steindler said, adding that Amtrak employees kept passengers in the know and evacuated them quickly from the train, which hadn't cleared the entire platform.

Passenger Christopher Greenwell, who is from England was on his way to Philadelphia for work, also said those on board were calm during the ordeal.

"They announced what had happened," he said. "It was quick. It was pretty efficient."