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Amtrak train pulls down power lines

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BOWIE, Md. (WJLA) - Amtrak’s departure boards were awash in cautionary yellow, but the only color passengers were seeing was red.

Engineers work to repair downed power lines hit by an Amtrak train in Bowie, Md. (Photo: WJLA)

Penn lines were reportedly down on Thursday, and many were stuck at Union Station for hours, claiming the rail giant never even alerted them that there were problems in the first place.

"They weren't 100-percent sure that the train was going to go...but the train is showing it's going in a half hour," said Carolyn Wendell from London.

"Our service has been disrupted between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore," said Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods.

But for hours, there was no service.

The culprit? Train 1-81 out of New York. When it reached Old Town, Bowie, the pantograph – or that red arm that supplies electricity to the train – ripped off the top of the train.

ABC7’s cameras captured the mangled arms twisted alongside the train tracks, as the accident ripped down the overhead power line. No train could move north or south, and 200 passengers sat stranded on the tracks.

There was a passenger who had a medical emergency -- a pregnant woman, according to P.G. County Fire. The department says train workers had to evacuate her to a fire station in Bowie out of an abundance of caution.

Back at Union Station, passengers scrambled as they discovered their trains were canceled.

Amtrak has yet to uncover the reasons for the accident.

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