By Mike DeNardo
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Patco is inspecting its newly refurbished trains, after one of them broke down in the middle of the evening rush hour yesterday.
The eastbound train was one of 12 refurbished trains in Patco’s fleet.
Michael Conallen, deputy CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority, says the tain operator was activating the Automatic Train Control system approaching a curve west of Franklin Square, about 5pm yesterday, when there was a power loss in the cab.
“One of those key components is, if there is some reason that the Automatic Train Control system was not activated, that as a safety measure, the cars would shut down. And that’s exactly what happened,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
Conallen says the current single-tracking scheme delayed the process of moving the disabled train. He says service was halted for about 20 minutes.
He says the refurbished trains are now being inspected, and they were expected to be back in service this afternoon.
Riders say they were largely left in the dark about the outage. Eastbound riders waiting on the Philadelphia platforms say they couldn’t understand the garbled loudspeaker announcements, adding that they couldn’t get Patco’s tweets or e-mail alerts because there’s no Wifi at the underground stations.
Conallen says Patco has been working with Comcast to provide systemwide Wifi, and with Verizon to improve cell phone coverage.
Patco is also installing new video information boards on platforms, but that work is still incomplete.