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Nightmare before Thanksgiving: Penn Station reopens after big power failure

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The problems began around 5:30 p.m. just as a crush of commuters was trying to get home for the holiday.(Sharon Kim)

In the biggest travel day of the year, Penn Station came to a grinding halt for about an hour, with massive crowds desperate to get home on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Service has begun to be restored on LIRR, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak after a power failure to Amtrak’s switches at Penn Station was fixed, but it will take a half hour or so for it to be up and running. NJ Transit reported delays of 60 to 90 minutes as train service resumed as of 7 p.m.

The station reopened after being shuttered to all but those who were inside.

LIRR and New Jersey Transit service had been suspended in and out of Penn Station, and that tied up service on Amtrak‘s Northeast Corridor, whose trains weren’t leaving Penn Station either.

For LIRR customers, reports an MTA spokesperson, “Limited eastbound service has been restored at Penn Station. Customers can anticipate hourly service on four branches with trains to Babylon, Huntington, Ronkonkoma and Port Washington. Power has been restored to Amtrak’s switches at Penn and they are being restored to operation.

Westbound service to Penn remains suspended. Customers are being provided with free transfers to the E train at Jamaica for service to Penn.”

The problems began around 5:30 p.m. just as a crush of commuters was trying to get home for the holiday.

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