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Rail News: Passenger Rail

PATCO train strikes dangling utility pole

The PATCO train struck an electrical conduit that was attached to a downed utility pole.
Photo – PATCO


A Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO) commuter train yesterday struck an electrical conduit hanging near track in Camden, New Jersey, resulting in four passenger injuries and extensive delays.

The train, which was traveling eastbound near the Ferry Avenue Station, was carrying 23 passengers, eight of whom were PATCO employees.

PATCO's initial investigation indicates that a Conrail train had previously struck an electrical pole on an adjacent track and that the conduit — which had been attached to the pole — fell as a result, President John Hanson said in a statement.

When the PATCO train hit the conduit, the train's operator activated the emergency braking system. The contact between the train and the conduit resulted in some sparking, although no fire occurred.

Immediately after the incident, service was terminated across the entire PATCO line as crews assessed the situation. Limited service was restored soon after, however.

Today, PATCO is running trains on a modified schedule as repairs are completed.