Throngs of commuters saw their holiday travel plans thwarted by massive rail delays at Manhattan’s Penn Station Sunday morning, just blocks away from the nation’s largest New Year’s Eve bash.
Service on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor was delayed by several hours due to “server/signal issues,” the railroad said in an X post around 8 a.m.
The problems led to the cancellation of three Acela trains.
NJ Transit also suspended trains on the corridor between Trenton and New York, and some trains headed in and out of Philadelphia were also paused.
By noon, both railroads said service was back on track, but warned that delays would linger.
Chris Carver, 26, works in real estate and was headed to Boston to ring in 2024, but had been stranded at Penn’s Moynihan Train Hall for more than four hours.
Carver takes Amtrak once or twice a week, but had “never been delayed on a train before.”
“I mean, in New York these days there’s always something going on. Something getting delayed or cancelled. It is what it is,” said the stoic stalled traveler.
“The big point of New Year’s Eve is midnight, right? I guess if this was closer to midnight I would be upset.”
Mike Cole, a 54-year-old carpenter, was headed to New London, Conn. before his 10 a.m. train was cancelled to due “signal delays.”
Cole, who had come to the city to watch Phish play Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, said his chill vibes were still unfazed — adding that the setback was a small price to pay to see a great show.
“What am I gonna do? Getting angry doesn’t help anything” he said.
The travel setbacks had other Phans bouncing round the room, however.
“They f—ed us,” Walter Sawyers bluntly stated.
The 26-year-old tile salesman and his buddy came from Baltimore to catch part of the jam band’s annual four-night New Year’s Eve run.
They were waiting out their second train delay, after rebooking this morning amid the backlog.
“F–k it. F–k this whole scenario. We’re not getting out of here tonight. I’m going to the Phish concert again,” he said as the duo decided to cut their losses.
In the meantime, he plans to get drunk and try to forget about the whole thing.
“I’m about to go to a bar. I need multiple beers. Gonna get really drunk.”
Sawyers also had a message for Amtrak: “F–k you.”
Michael Chrencik, 27, and his friend were downing shots and beers at the station bar ten minutes before their train was officially scheduled to depart. It had already been delayed an hour, and they weren’t buying the new schedule time.
“A train just boarded that was scheduled for 6:00 a.m. We found a guy from Amtrak and said, ‘There’s no way this train leaves in ten minutes, right?’ He just shook his head and walked away. The train’s not leaving anytime soon,” Chrencik said.
“My problem is the lack of communication. When we showed up we didn’t see the train on the board, had no idea what was going on. Airlines are shitty, but at least when you’re at the airport, the airline is telling you everything.”
“You’d think a government-funded rail program would run better…actually, now that I say that out loud, maybe not.”
The delays came as one million people were expected in Times Square for the ball drop — all of them encouraged to leave their cars at home and rely on mass transit.