"While every NJ Transit rail line sustained damage as a result of Sandy's wrath, the Gladstone line was particularly hard-hit, with the heavy damage and unique challenges making repairs more timely and more difficult," said NJ Transit executive director James Weinstein. "I would again thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this difficult time."
The test trains are needed to ensure all of the systems are operating as intended and to remove the rust build-up along the lines.
As a result of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, five catenary poles snapped during the storm. The poles, which exceed 90 feet in length, are custom-made. These poles were installed late last week and more than five miles of overhead wiring was installed along the length of the Gladstone Branch this week.
Additionally, crews removed the 49 trees that were on the tracks and are in the process of finalizing repairs to the line's infrastructure, such as signals and switches.
When service is restored to the Gladstone Line, NJ Transit plans to resume utilizing electric trains for Midtown Direct service into New York and diesel trains into Hoboken, N.J. However, all Gladstone service will operate on a special schedule. Hoboken's Mason Supply power substation sustained significant damage from the storm; as a result, only diesel-powered trains that can navigate into the terminal.