WCBS 880

NJ TRANSIT Way Behind In Positive Train Control Installation

August 24, 2018 - 2:15 pm

NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) -- NJ TRANSIT has made little progress in installing Positive Train Control, and it only has four months to meet a federally mandated requirement.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, 34 percent is the number – just a third of where NJ TRANSIT needs to be this year as far as installing hardware for Positive Train Control.

That puts NJT in the bottom third of all railroad systems required to implement the hardware. But it does not include the number of employees who have been trained.

Agency spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said more progress has been made in the last six months than in the previous six years.

"In that short time, our project completion percentage has increased from 12 percent to 60 percent," Snyder said.

The work has taken a toll on service this summer, with weekly delays and cancellations. But the lack of a system like Positive Train Control has already proven deadly, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

In September 2016, a train crashed into the Hoboken Terminal and one person was killed. The NTSB said a safety system could have intervened to stop that crash.

The Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday announced more than $200 million in grants for 28 railroads to implement positive train control, but NJ Transit didn't make the list. An NJ Transit spokeswoman confirmed the agency applied for a grant.
An FRA spokesman didn't comment Friday on NJ Transit's application.  

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)