Metro-North Railroad suspended service Tuesday evening, causing a major back up at Grand Central Terminal after a severe thunderstorm downed trees across New York City’s northern suburbs.
The closure came at peak evening commute time when thousands of people were stuck in the terminal, as heavy rain poured outside and train service was halted. Police officers barred entry to the station from the street.
By 6:30 p.m., Metro North had resumed limited service on two lines with delays of up to one hour.
Hordes of stranded commuters posted images on social media of crowds filling the terminal’s main concourse and passageways. The combination of rain outside and the commuters packed in the station created conditions that one traveler headed to Pelham described as “a steam bath.”
“I had a meeting tonight with fellow coaches from our flag football league,” said
of Rye, N.Y. “Looks like I might miss that, as well as my school vote.”
Many Westchester County school districts had scheduled budget votes on Tuesday.
The lower-level food court was packed with beer-toting travelers. One man walked hurriedly through the terminal singing, “We ain’t going home tonight. We ain’t going home tonight.”
The storm also caused delays and cancellations to NJ Transit rail services from New York Penn Station and from Hoboken, N.J. Long Island Rail Road was unaffected.
The last time that Metro-North suspended service was in May 2016 when a Park Avenue viaduct in Harlem was damaged by a fire, said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
On Tuesday, agency crews were deployed across affected areas to clear trees and debris from train tracks and restore service, the spokesman added.
— Robert Hunter contributed to this article.
Write to Paul Berger at [email protected]