Photo of NJT train car

The online reports were interesting, but not startling: overhead wire problems on Friday, September 7, were causing delays in the Hudson River tunnels. Pretty routine, actually, in this era of crumbling infrastructure.  But as the details dribble out, it's clear that the incident that started the delays was far from routine. As reported by Larry Higgs for NJ.com, sleepy riders on an inbound, late night train headed to Manhattan were jolted when some kind of a pole-like object penetrated the ceiling of their rail car, the eighth car in the train, reportedly punching in windows, and with lots of sparks and smoke. Fortunately, no one was injured. It is not yet clear whether the offending object was part of the train or part of the structure that supports the overhead wires in the tunnel, which deliver electric power to the train. NJT officials said the object was part of the tunnel support structure.  In a second incident Friday night, an outbound North Jersey Coast Line train struck some kind of an object while passing through the tunnel. Reporting does not make it clear whether this was the same tunnel in which the first incident occurred, but repairs and delays continued all weekend.The Federal Railroad Administration and tunnel owner Amtrak are investigating the incidents