Alex Silverman/WCBS 880

NJ TRANSIT Scaling Back Service To Install Positive Train Control

June 04, 2018 - 9:12 am

NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- New schedules and service changes are in effect as NJ TRANSIT installs new safety gear but a shortage of engineers is also catching blame for cancellations and crowding.

Temporary schedule adjustments are in effect for the remainder of the year on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coastline, Morris and Essex and the Pascack Valley Line as NJT strives to meet a federal deadline to equip locomotives with positive train control.

PTC is a safety mechanism that automatically hits the brakes if a train is going too fast or racing past red signals.

Starting Monday, some weekday trains will be temporarily discontinued or have changes to their origin and/or destinations while other trains throughout the system will have schedule and/or station stop changes, according to NJ TRANSIT.

The Record reports another factor behind the reduced service could be the shrinking ranks of engineers. There is an industry-wide shortage according to the head of NJT.

The Record says other railroads are promoting engineers, but NJT is lagging behind, so there's a new push to recruit, train and retain top quality candidates to operate locomotives.

Service is expected to return to normal in early 2019.