Power issues cancel Amtrak trains throughout Mid-Atlantic

Incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, spokeswoman says

March 19, 2011|By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun

Widespread electrical problems along railroad lines Saturday morning sent Amtrak riders in the Mid-Atlantic region scrambling to reschedule their weekend plans.

The outage occurred at about 9:30 a.m., according to an Amtrak media relations spokeswoman, and lasted for about four hours.

Twenty-one trains were affected in Amtrak's Northeast corridor, running between Washington and New York, and on the Keystone Corridor in Pennsylvania between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, she said.

The cause of the power outage was not immediately disclosed.

At Baltimore's Penn Station, a man who had to be in New York for a conference beginning Sunday tried to reschedule his trip by bus. A woman paid an additional $150 to board one of the Acela Express trains, which mostly were running. College students from Johns Hopkins University glumly contemplated a late start to their spring break.

And a grandfather waited impatiently for a promised reunion with his granddaughters.

Gerardo Marin, 62, lives in San Francisco. So when business necessitated a conference in New York, he made plans to dash down to Baltimore to spend the weekend with Sienna, 5 and Sasha, 18 months. But he arrived at Penn Station two and a half hours late.

"The Amtrak staff was wonderful. They didn't have much information, but they told us what they did have. But, any time spent away from my grandchildren is time wasted."

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

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