Trains return to normal, security increased after NJ device explodes

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- After the latest explosive device was discovered near a New Jersey train station in Elizabeth, many rail commuters dealt with major delays on Monday morning.

It was a six hour journey for University of Pennsylvania students Emily Vo and Alex Chan headed to Philadelphia from New York overnight.

The pair did not know at first what was unfolding in Elizabeth, New Jersey when they were told to exit the train.

"We got to Penn station around 12, I think they waited on the train until 1:30 a.m. And then they took us off the train. I guess we had to wait there for the next available train, even that was late," said Vo.

This morning at 30th Street Station Amtrak police, including K-9 officers, kept a continuous presence as commuters kept eyes glued to the constant changes on Amtrak's flip-board.

Amtrak tells Action News it has increased security up and down the Northeast Corridor and riders noticed.

"There was so much security, I've never seen it this busy before," Gary Evans of New York City said.

"I think the world is in a bad place and I feel pretty lucky to be safe and have my feet on the ground," Ani Anderson of Essex, NY said.

SEPTA says it too has increased K-9 patrols and its police presence.

SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel says he's been in contact with his counterparts up north and in Philadelphia sharing intelligence.

He stresses there is no information to believe Philadelphia is at risk, but people need to be alert and if you see something, say something.

"There's been great success this weekend with average citizens, Joe Citizen, calling 911 and saying there is something suspicious here. That's how we protect people," Nestel said.

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After the latest explosive device was discovered near a New Jersey train station in Elizabeth, many rail commuters dealt with major delays on Monday.

For the bulk of the early morning, a number of trains mostly on the Northeast Corridor were delayed or canceled.

Many traveling to New York and Washington, D.C. had to re-book or find another way.

Brandy Mathies of Center City was traveling to D.C.

"I'm on my way to work, its effecting me getting to work on time," said Mathies.

Commuter Christopher Mauro of Wilmington, Delaware said, "I got off here. I have to wait an hour and a half to go back to Wilmington. And everything was canceled for me, So today looks like a waste."

Travelers we talked to said the police presence and response was comforting after an unsettling situation.

Jude Keenan of Center City said, "I don't think I'm too worried about it at this point. It's obviously a lot of police presence, and that's why the trains are delayed. So I think they are trying to do a thorough job, and make sure nothing else happens."

Mathis added, "It's needed, I like that they are taking that precaution to make it safe."

Amtrak was back to a normal schedule around 9:30 a.m.
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