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North Shore Connector Trolley Gets Stuck In Tunnel

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Some riders on the North Shore Connector wound up making an unplanned walk through the tunnel Thursday morning.

While they were walking, other riders were waiting on T platforms wondering what was going on.

The North Shore-bound train pulled out of the Gateway Station and dipped down under the Allegheny River.

"About halfway through the tunnel to the North Shore station underneath the river, the train lost power twice," said Dan Slepski, of Tarentum. "The first time he got it to start up and move. It may be went 50 yards, and the same thing happened again."

"It wouldn't start, and then he completely shut the train down," added Sara Hall, of Tarentum.

And there they sat, Dan, Sara and 14-month-old Serenity, among 30 on the darkened train.

"We were stuck down there for 45 minutes and the alarms were going off," said Slepski.

"It was nerve wrecking, a little scary," Hall added.

They say the driver didn't tell them what was happening.

"He said he would try to get it moving shortly and that was it," Hall said.

The Port Authority's Jim Ritchie says the train was stuck because of a mechanical failure, and to add insult to the situation, a false chemical alarm went off at the same time in the Gateway Station.

"It shut down the station, caused an evacuation of the station and it shut down all rail traffic through the station," said Ritchie.

So, the passengers on the stranded train were asked to get out and walk through the tunnel to the North Side Station.

Everyone made the walk safely, arriving in a station filled with people who had been waiting a half hour wondering what was going on.

"For some reason, the communication to customer service was an hour behind; so they didn't know for an hour that there was something to tell people waiting at the platform," Ritchie added.

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