Engineer Shortage Leads To Dozens Of Cancellations, Headaches For NJ Transit Riders

Peter Haskell
October 14, 2019 - 6:42 pm
NJ Transit train

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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TRENTON (WCBS 880) Columbus Day was not the only reason for reduced service on New Jersey Transit rail lines Monday.

Engineer shortage once again caused headaches for hundreds of commuters during the morning rush when NJ Transit canceled 13 trains. The issue then led to 10 more cancellations during the evening rush.

Still, Gov. Phil Murphy insisted his push for improvements is paying off and once again blamed the issues on former Gov. Chris Christie.

“It stinks. There’s just no other way around it.,” Murphy said. “We need more engineers.”

Seven new engineers are graduating Wednesday and four other classes are already being trained.

There is some relief on the way at least for commuters on the Raritan Valley line.

Transit officials and Murphy said Monday that off-peak direct service on the Raritan Valley Line to New York will resume in three weeks. The trains serve towns in Essex, Union, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

The service was halted in September to accommodate the system-wide installation of the braking system, called positive train control.

The work caused delays and cancellations on other rail lines, and prompted NJ Transit to suspend service to Atlantic City.

Atlantic City trains resumed service in May.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)