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Train Delays Two Mornings in a Row

NJ Transit encourages riders to check its website and twitter feed for updates.

For two mornings in a row, local riders of NJ Transit train service into New York City have experienced frustrating delays.

However, Amtrak officials say the delays -- both of which occurred due to incidents in Amtrak-owned and -operated tunnels -- were unrelated. The incidents and resulting diversions and delays did point out the need for expanded capacity in tunnels to New York City, an Amtrak spokesman said.

This morning at 5:40 a.m., a train lost power in a tunnel en route to New York Penn Station, necessitating that Amtrak close the tunnel. NJ Transit diverted trains to Hoboken and implemented cross honoring of tickets across its system. Yesterday, a track condition in one of the two tunnels resulted in the closing of that tunnel.

Trains were running with delays of up to an hour in and out of New York City at 10:30 a.m. as Amtrak crews continued to repair wire damage in the south tunnel. NJ Transit customer service representatives were at New York Penn Station and Hoboken to assist riders. As of noon, delays had been reduced to 20 minutes. By 12:30 p.m., trains were reported to be operating on time.

Cliff Cole of Amtrak noted that only two tunnels handle 1,300 train movements per day between Amtrak and NJ Transit trains. "So when we have an issue in one tunnel, we have only one tunnel for all trains to go back and forth."

"We have the need for expanded capacity," said Cole.

Cole noted that the tunnels are more than 100 years old; however, the equipment in the tunnels is of more recent vintage.

NJ Transit encourages customers to log on to njtransit.com or follow its twitter feed at nj_transit for service updates.

Chad March 07, 2012 at 12:18 AM
"NJ Transit encourages customers to log on to njtransit.com or follow its twitter feed at nj_transit for service updates." Yeah,? What do the recommend we do to get them to fix the crumbling infrastructure to accommodate the customer?
Carolyn Most March 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM
We were supposed to get another tunnel until the Govenator had his way. Not to mention the $400 an hour legal fees the taxpayers have to cover to fight the feds on the money NJ now owes because we backed out of the deal. Yes, like all large public infrastructure projects it would have taken longer and cost more than it was supposed to (large private sector projects have the same issues) BUT at least there would have been relief in sight. What is the Gov's response? Nada.
Ken March 07, 2012 at 01:48 PM
But at least we're building roads and schools in Afghanistan
TCG March 07, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Let me get this straight. NJ Transit is a monopoly with absolutely no incentive whatsoever to serve its riders well or run the trains on time. None. After all, as I daily commuter, what choice do I have? I can spend $12 to cross the river by car or I can take the train. Period. NJ Transit is nothing more than an excuse factory, constantly blaming any entity but itself. It rarely, if ever, provides a truthful explanation for the never-ending delays and has no reason to do so. They know they have the riders by the short hairs and that is why they never lift a finger to improve service and never will. As for the Governor, he doesn't take the train and therefore has no idea what commuters go through and just like NJ Transit, he has no incentive to find out or to do anything about it.
Carolyn Most March 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM
but the commute over there is really a b*tch! (lol)
Carolyn Most March 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM
you know what is rally sad... over the past 10 years while we have been spending $2 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Europeans have been completely rebuilding their infrastructure. When I first visited Europe post college in the mid 80's , it seemed very much behind the US. Now, it is like going to future land when you visit Europe and extremely depressing when you get home.
Dazed not Confused March 07, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"When I first visited Europe post college in the mid 80's , it seemed very much behind the US. Now, it is like going to future land " Except for the fact that most of Europe is bankrupt and Greece may be the tip of the iceberg. Regardless, Americans have never embraced Rail travel as much as europe or most of the rest of the world, and that is only just starting to haunt us as energy costs skyrocket. As far as the tunnel, what the Gov. did was thwart a project that was extremely over budget before it even started, which compelled the city to get serious about the subway tunnel. Not a bad move in the medium-term.
Carolyn Most March 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
"most of Europe is bankrupt " I don't believe this entirely true, but even if it is, at least the Europeans have something to show for their bankruptcy whereas all we got was a decade of war for our $2 trillion.
Nick Muson March 07, 2012 at 03:56 PM
You should hesitate before making such crude and inaccurate generalizations. It really weakens your case when you open with that sort of thing.
TCG March 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Uh...seems we are getting just a bit off point here. Even if we had bullet trains running from the burbs to the city, there would still be no incentive whatsoever for NJ Transit to be on time, provide even the most basic level of customer service and make any effort to improve that service over time. Like any monopoly, they will continue to sit back and count our money while laughing at our complaints. Wake up folks. Unless NJ Transit were forced to hand out refunds or pro-rate monthly tickets (now roughly $300 from Chatham) for the incessantly rotten on-time performance, nothing is ever going to change.
Nick Muson March 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I agree with you, TCG, that monopolies are bad for the consumer. However, what is the alternative exactly? Privatize our commuter rail? That would just be another monopoly. Virtually all nations have publicly run transit systems, and some of them are run really really well. It's not public transit that is to blame, it's NEW JERSEY public transit that stinks.
PG March 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
From a response to the NJT complaint – great! As stated in our printed timetables, NJ TRANSIT is not responsible for the inconvenience, expense or damage resulting from lost, stolen or destroyed tickets, errors in timetables, canceled or delayed trains/buses/light rail vehicles, failure to make connections or for shortage of equipment. Connecting times for other service providers are shown for information only…
TCG March 08, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Is NJ Transit responsible for the rude and condescending attitude of virtually all of it's train conductors? How about it's failure to promptly inform it's riders (who pay your salary) of the reason for delays? How convenient and how pathetically predictible that a monolithic and incompetently run monopoly like NJ Transit would hire a pack of attorneys to whip up a disclaimer to absolve itself of any responsibility for anything. The only thing NJ Transit is responsible for is lousy service, horrific customer relations, passing the buck and bilking it's riders for more money each and every time the service gets worse. It's a good thing you have no competition or you'd be out of a job by the time the next delay is posted.
Ron Swanson March 08, 2012 at 07:46 PM
TCG: you are spot on on all of your comments, especially the conductors - the laziest, most entitled and customer un-friendly group of slouches employed by NJ Transit. They don't make announcements when you need them to (during delays or breakdowns), get irritated when they actually have to ask you for your ticket, and cop major attitudes when you stop them to ask them a question. They want to check tickets so they can get back to their NY Post. NJ Transit is a mess and for what they charge the service in terms of both timlieness and frequency should be much better.

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