UPDATE: The MTA plans to restore service by Thursday morning rush hour, according to its website.
A southbound 1 line subway train derailed during the Wednesday afternoon rush hour, leaving hundreds of passengers stuck inside — all uninjured — for over an hour. The train stopped partially inside the tunnel that starts at West 122nd Street and Broadway in Morningside Heights.
The train was carrying between 350-400 passengers toward 116th Street station when the front wheels of the lead car went off the rails at 5:50 p.m., according to the MTA.
“It almost felt like, for people on the train, like somebody pulled the emergency break. That’s what it seemed like. In fact, that’s what we first thought it was,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Dan Donoghue. “Upon further investigation, there was possibly a compromised rail, or something happened there, and there was a derailment.”
Donoghue said the southbound 1 train will be “out of service for a while” as the MTA and NYPD investigate. On the other side of the tracks, uptown 1 trains continued to travel (albeit: cautiously) throughout the afternoon.
Two empty trains connected with the immobile train, creating one long path to the nearby 125th Street subway station for the passengers to exit. The 350-400 passengers were ushered into part of a nearby street sectioned off with white and blue police tape where they were questioned.
Donoghue said the passengers had to wait for over an hour to be let off, “which, to them, must have seemed like forever.”
During the wait, the subway cars were cut off from power and, subsequently, air conditioning.
“It got hot in that train,” he said.
Raw images and video shot by Steve Silva: