Passengers rescued from disabled trains

January 1, 2009 10:23:52 AM PST
About 150 people heading home from New Year's Eve celebrations were stranded for nearly three hours in the cold after two commuter trains lost power on the tracks, authorities said. No passengers sought medical attention after the ordeal Thursday. They were removed by a rescue train at about 6:25 a.m.

The northbound Metro-North Railroad trains lost heat and electricity at about 3:40 a.m. between the Bridgeport and Stratford stations when overhead wires that power the trains came down, Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said.

The frigid, windy weather might have torn and entangled the wires, he said, but the railroad was still investigating the cause.

Metro-North brought another train to remove passengers from the disabled ones, but it took crews hours to remove wires strewn across the trains and tracks and to set up platforms to shuttle passengers safely between trains, Brucker said.

Service was suspended between Bridgeport and Stratford on Metro-North's New Haven line until about 7:45 a.m.

Brucker didn't know how cold it had been aboard the trains.

According to the National Weather Service, it was about 10 degrees in Bridgeport early Thursday morning.

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