Stranded A train causes overnight ordeal

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By Ivan Pereira
Monday, December 27, 2010 12:16 PM

Hundreds of commuters were forced to have a sleepover on the A train in the early morning Monday after they were left stranded for seven hours in Howard Beach by the monstrous blizzard that swept through the city.

None of the 400 passengers suffered injury or health problems despite having no heat in their cars, a spokeswoman for the MTA said.

The snow, coupled with the gusty winds, froze the third rail of the elevated track between the Howard Beach and Rockaway Boulevard stops and stopped the Manhattan-bound train cold shortly before 1 a.m., according to the spokeswoman.

“The train is completely dead,” the conductor told the passengers, many of whom were heading home from John. F. Kennedy International Airport, where all flights were canceled.

Emergency lights inside the cars were turned on while crews tried to help the straphangers. Some of the lucky ones were stuck in cars that were still on the Howard Beach station, the spokeswoman said.

“Customers were able to get off and go where they had to go and some were able to use the employee bathroom,” she said.

For those who could not leave from the station, there were no additional comforts. The diesel-powered tow train did not arrive until 7:52 a.m. because of problems with the tracks, according to the spokeswoman.

The subway was finally taken to the Rockaway Boulevard station a short time later and all passengers were able to go home, the spokeswoman said.

The A train incident was one of several mass transit messes caused by the storm that dropped as much as 13 inches of snow in some parts of Queens.

Along with cancellations at both airports, the AirTrain and Long Island Railroad suspended service Sunday night and Monday morning.

Subways were still running but many lines, including the 7, were experiencing delays due to weather. Buses were also running but experienced problems, the spokeswoman said.

“The roads are a misery and we had numerous buses that had problems overnight, flipped and skidded,” she said.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 1:44 pm and is filed under Breaking News, TimesLedger, Web Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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