Metro-North Railroad Grinds to a Halt in New York

PHOTO: Commuters packed Grand Central Terminal Thursday. Jan. 23, 2014 after a computer glitch shut down all Metro-North trains.
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Metro-North, the nation's second-busiest commuter railroad, was brought to a standstill for nearly two hours on Thursday night after computer problems caused signal issues system-wide, railroad officials said.

Thousands of commuters who use the railroad to points north of New York City were stranded as all trains were ordered to stop and idle at the nearest station for safety reasons, officials said. The iconic central hall at Grand Central Terminal was packed with commuters staring up at the departure boards, many of them tweeting out their frustrations to #MetroNorth.

"The entire railroad is at a standstill since 7:45 p.m. because of a power/computer problem in the control room," said Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for Metro-North. "All trains are stopped at the nearest station or before entering any interlocking, for safety. All trains have power, heat and light. They are troubleshooting and running temporary power."

Amtrak service was also disrupted between New York and New Haven, Conn., due to signal problems, Amtrak officials said.

Power was restored at about 9:40 p.m. and service was resumed, with "significant residual delays," railroad officials said.

Metro-North is the second-busiest commuter railroad in the nation, second only to its sister system, the Long Island Rail Road, both operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

On Dec. 1, a Metro-North passenger train travelling from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central derailed on a sharp curve in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring more than 60.

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