Watch CBS News

Secaucus brush fire causes major headache for evening commuters

Brush fire, wire issues suspend service for NJ Transit, Amtrak
Brush fire, wire issues suspend service for NJ Transit, Amtrak 02:05

SECAUCUS, N.J. - A brush fire in Secaucus caused major trouble for NJ Transit commuters at Penn Station on Thursday. 

The fire broke out around Mile Marker 111, near the Alexander Hamilton Service Area, which is not far from the N.J. Turnpike eastern spur near 16/18E. Secaucus Police said the fire was in the marsh area.

Firefighters tackled the brush fire from the Turnpike and nearby NJ Transit tracks, and managed to bring it under control. But the impact on the evening commute lingered. Traffic on the turnpike was at one point reduced to one lane northbound. 

So far there's no word on the cause of the fire, but it comes as our region is coping with an extended period of sweltering heat

At the height of the fire, smoke could be seen rising more than 1,000 feet into the air.

Penn Station delays leave commuters hanging 

NJ Transit service in and out of New York Penn Station was suspended for more than an hour as a result of the fire, as well as overhead wire issues. It has since been restored, but extensive delays lingered, frustrating commuters. 

Amtrak suspended Northeast Corridor service between New Haven and Philadelphia, but it was restored at 5:30 p.m. Riders were told to expect delays. 

NJ Transit appeared to be running on time Friday morning, while Amtrak had some cancellations. 

Thursday, commuters at New York City's Penn Station were frustrated. It was packed with confused commuters heading into the evening rush hour. They scrambled to find alternative ways home. 

"We are heading home back to New Jersey in Livingston, may have to take the PATH. Frustrating, yeah," commuter Mia Saigal said. 

"Nothing we can do. It's this, or a $500 Uber trip. Figured we'd just wait it out, like everyone else," another commuter said. 

This isn't the first time this week the trains were halted. On Tuesday, overhead wires and a disabled train left commuters stranded. Riders who spoke to CBS New York say they're hoping this isn't any indication of what's ahead this summer.

CBS New York reached out to the Department of Transportation, which regulates Amtrak, for comment but has not yet heard back.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.