That New Jersey Transit service was delayed was not all that unusual. The reason on Thursday, however, was something out of the wild, wild west. There was a bull, one with long horns no less, on the tracks.
During the waning hours of the morning commute at Newark Penn Station, trains were stopped by the brown bull charging by the passenger platform.
When Javier Perez, 54, arrived at Penn Station around 10:30 a.m., he heard that there were delays caused by some sort of obstacle. He scanned the tracks and saw the bull ambling down the train line.
“I was like, ‘OK, that’s the obstruction,’” he said.
By noon, the bull was off the tracks and service had resumed after a 45-minute delay, according to New Jersey Transit, the state agency that runs trains and buses.
Ellie VandenBerg was waiting on the platform to transfer to a PATH train when she noticed a number of police officers running along the tracks — including one holding a rope. Looking closer, she noticed horns.
“It’s definitely a first for New Jersey Transit, despite seeing many strange things,” Ms. VandenBerg, 31, said. The transit agency did not immediately respond to questions about where the bull might have come from or whether Thursday had been the first time that service had been delayed by livestock.
The bull incident was the latest in what has been a rough month for the transit agency. On Dec. 4, the morning commute was ruined for thousands of riders on the agency’s Morris and Essex lines when damage to overhead wires caused a power outage. Ten days later, New Jersey Transit is still making repairs to the line, which is operating with modified service.
The agency is the third-busiest transit system in the country, behind the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad networks run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It provides about 270 million passenger trips each year.
Ms. VandenBerg said her fellow commuters did not appear fearful or agitated by the excitement on Thursday. They seemed annoyed, she added. Ms. VandenBerg and others abandoned the station and headed for Ubers to try to make it to their destinations.
“Everyone was acting shockingly unfazed,” she said.
As the bull delay dragged on, more police officers tried to contain the animal as it became increasingly aggressive, running back and forth, Mr. Perez said. Eventually, he said, the bull escaped off the tracks and ran away.
The Newark Police said on Thursday that no injuries had been reported in connection with the bull’s appearance, and that the bull had been contained within a fenced lot and would be taken to a local animal sanctuary.
“It would only happen in New York,” Mr. Perez said.
Patrick McGeehan contributed reporting.