PATCO Update: Limited service will extend into Tuesday morning

This was the scene at Collingswood’s PATCO station this morning after service was suspended in both directions due to a an accident involving a downed power pole near t he Broadway Station.

PATCO said the limited service on the High Speed Line that resulted from an accident Monday morning  will extend into the Tuesday morning commute.

The accident at the start of Monday morning’s rush hour led to a halt of service for much of the day and left thousands of commuters scrambling to find another way to work. PATCO carries about 38,000 passengers during a weekday.

Hours after the accident, PATCO was only able to run limited service between the Broadway station in Camden and the 15th-16th and Locust station in Philadelphia using a four-car train that was in Philadelphia when the accident occurred.

This photo, supplied by PATCO, shows the damaged utility pole with the dangling electrical conduit one of its trains hit this morning in Camden.

In the afternoon, PATCO said it planned on running trains every 18 minutes, starting at 3:45 p.m., westbound from the Lindenwold station and eastbound at 4:41 p.m. from 15th/16th.

The commuter railroad said it  expected delays Tuesday morning while repair work continues and posted a revised schedule.

On Tuesday, trains will operate every 10 to 15 minutes from 5 to 6:30 a.m.; every 10 minutes out of Lindenwold from 6:30 until 8:50 a.m.; and every 10 to 20 minutes out of 15th/16th from 6:30 until 9:35 a.m.

Service for the evening rush will be announced Tuesday.

The problem began when an eastbound train carrying 23 passengers and an operator hit a live wire about 5:30 a.m. between the Broadway and Ferry Avenue stations. There was sparking from the conduit making contact with the train, but no fire, officials said.

John T. Hanson, president of PATCO, said a Conrail train on an adjacent track above a High Speed Line tunnel entrance apparently hit the utility pole, sending the conduit into the path of the PATCO train.

Four riders suffered minor injuries because the PATCO train made an abrupt stop when the operator activated the emergency braking system, Hanson said.

Conrail did not respond to a call seeking comment.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

The shutdown created traffic jams leading to and on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Passengers on a train that was stopped at Ferry Avenue were taken back to their originating stations so they could get to their cars.

PATCO said it would provide information later on refunds for passengers who entered stations and had to leave after service was suspended.

Staff writer Robert Moran contributed to this article.