KEARNY, New Jersey - After an intense ear of playing catch-up with PTC, NJ Transit has met the deadline for positive train control equipment installation. In a Monday press conference at the agency's sprawling Meadows Maintenance Center, NJ Transit officials said they filed the necessary paperwork on the 14th of December to show they had met the Dec. 31 installation deadline. This qualified the railroad for a two-year extension to achieve full PTC operability.
The agency also announced it had selected its new head of rail operations - Raymond Kenny, a former transportation officer at the Long Island Railroad.
NJ Transit began the year with only about 12% of PTC installations complete on locomotives and cab cars; for the railroad to meet the year-end deadline, complete sets of equipment often had to be removed from service which led to frequent train cancellations.
In an effort to meet the deadline, 282 locomotives and cab cars were equipped with the minimum necessary to qualify for approval. 158 more locomotives need PTC equipment installed and the agency has also installed 326 miles of wayside equipment including radios, transponders and poles, and initiated PTC testing and employee training.
As part of the installation process, service was briefly unavailable on the Atlantic City Line and Princeton Shuttle; and weekend service was suspended on the Gladstone Line and through NY service suspended on the Raritan Valley Line. Dates have not been released on when service on these lines will resume.
The extension of the deadline will allow time to be allotted for the training of 985 employees, and installation of PTC hardware on the remaining locomotives and cab cars. Several levels of testing are also required before full PTC certification by the Federal Railroad Administration, with PTC implementation to occur by December 31, 2020.