NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey Transit train derailed near Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station on Thursday, forcing 180 passengers and crew onto a rescue train, just days before the biggest U.S. train hub will partially shut for repairs.
The "minor derailment," said NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith, caused delays that stretched until 7 a.m. Friday, when service returned to normal for the morning rush hour.
The cause of the derailment was under investigation, Smith said.
The nine-car North Jersey Coast Line commuter train, which originated in Long Branch, New Jersey, derailed at 9:10 p.m. on the New York side of a tunnel under the Hudson River, Smith said.
A rescue train was sent to transport all aboard to platforms at Penn Station, arriving at 11 p.m., Smith said.
The commuter train had been scheduled to arrive at 8:53 p.m.
The incident is the latest in a series of derailments at Penn Station, where extensive track repairs intended to prevent such problems are scheduled to begin Monday and run through Sept. 1.
Roughly 600,000 commuters, mostly from New Jersey and Long Island, use the station each day. They ride Amtrak, the national rail corporation and owner of the tracks, and NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road, which rent tracks and platforms from Amtrak. Starting Monday, commuters face eight weeks of rerouted, canceled and delayed trains on all three railways.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)