NJ Transit has resumed full service for the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit the state nearly a year ago.
NJ Transit, effective this past Sunday, added twelve additional trains to its rail schedule — six to serve customers along the Morris and Essex lines and six on the Montclair-Boonton line.
In addition, Midtown Direct customers on the Gladstone Branch can now benefit from the use of multilevel rail cars for the first time, which will provide more seating capacity.
As part of the new schedules, Atlantic City Rail Line customers can board from the new Pennsauken Transit Center, which provides a link to and from River Line light rail service, as of this past Monday. Customers are encouraged to review new timetables online at njtransit.com.
"The agency continues to make significant progress on resiliency projects that will strengthen the system to withstand storms on par with, or exceeding Sandy," says a prepared statement from NJ Transit.
The projects include:
• Hoboken Terminal: The terminal is being reconstructed using DRAGONBOARD building materials. This is a green substitute for standard drywall, which is both water resistant, and mold resistant. This will significantly reduce recovery times in the event of future storm-related flooding.
• Safe Harbor Storage: Effective June 1, NJ TRANSIT secured two, temporary “safe harbor” emergency storage locations for locomotives and rail cars that would normally be stored at the Meadows Maintenance Complex or Hoboken Yard. This includes Conrail’s Linden rail yard, as well as the Garwood industrial track which can accommodate a combined 450 rail cars. Additionally, County Yard, located in New Brunswick, along the Northeast Corridor, is being reconfigured to accept over 300 passenger rail cars as a safe harbor from any storm.
• NJ TRANSITGRID: On August 26, Governor Christie and United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz appeared in Secaucus to announce federal investment in the proposed NJ TRANSITGRID; a first-of-its kind, storm resilient power infrastructure designed to keep the Garden State on the move. Electrical microgrids can supply highly-reliable power during storms or other times when the traditional centralized grid is compromised. This would not only alleviate the social and economic impact of a major transit infrastructure-related power disruption but is also critical to facilitate emergency evacuation-related activities.
• Weehawken Ferry Slips: On September 12, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved funding to complete the dredging of 59,000 cubic yards of sediment from NJ TRANSIT’s Port Imperial Ferry Terminal. A critical component to the region’s transportation infrastructure, this step will allow for the expansion of future emergency ferry service as well as the long-term growth of trans-Hudson ferry operations.
• Trap Bags: NJ TRANSIT is completing the installation of Trap Bag mobile flood barriers which will protect four power substations at the Meadows Maintenance Complex from the impacts of flooding. Trap Bags are used for flood control along Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, in the Rockaways as well as parts of Long Island and Staten Island. More than eight million pounds of sand will fill these six-foot temporary flood barriers; all which will remain in use until the substations are permanently raised.
• Gladstone Resiliency: By the end of 2013, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors is anticipated to approve funding for the replacement of 560 wooden catenary overhead wire poles along the railroad’s Gladstone Branch. These will be replaced by concrete-anchored steel poles to withstand the impact of winds on par, or exceeding that of Sandy.
For additional information on NJ TRANSIT’s recovery progress, visit superstormsandyrecovery.com.