NJ Transit restores more service lost in Sandy
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Full NJ Transit rail service from New Jersey into New York City will resume Monday, 11 weeks after Superstorm Sandy caused extensive damage to the agency's equipment and infrastructure.
NJ Transit executive director James Weinstein said Friday that rail service into the city will be restored to pre-Sandy levels. Service into Hoboken continues to run on a reduced schedule due to electrical problems caused by flooding from the storm, with the Gladstone branch of the Morris & Essex line the most affected.
Weinstein said full electric power at the Hoboken station should be restored by March.
"The full restoration of our New York Penn Station rail service marks another important milestone for NJ Transit and our customers, the majority of whom commute to and from midtown Manhattan," Weinstein said.
Service levels on the North Jersey Coast Line, which sustained extensive track damage, will reach 96 percent when nine trains are added to the line starting Monday. Two of the trains will be electric and operate between Long Branch and New York's Penn Station.
The remaining seven trains will either originate or terminate in Bay Head. Four of those trains will resume service between Bay Head and Hoboken.
NJ Transit says rail operations system wide will reach 94 percent of its pre-Sandy service level on Monday, with 658 of the 700 weekday trains scheduled prior to the storm operational.
More than 300 rail cars and locomotives were damaged in the storm when rail yards in Hoboken and Kearny flooded, prompting criticism that NJ Transit should have moved them to safer locations. Weinstein told a Senate transportation subcommittee that that damage will cost the agency $100 million.
On Friday, Weinstein said NJ Transit is seeking alternate sites to house the cars and locomotives. The agency said 51 of 261 damaged cars and 21 of 62 damaged locomotives have been repaired. Weinstein said he believed the equipment costs would be covered by insurers combined with federal disaster aid.