"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," said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. "Equally important is the progress we've made on the North Jersey Coast Line, which was among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Again, I cannot emphasize enough the tireless efforts made by our rail employees to restore service for our customers."
Starting January 14, the North Jersey Coast Line will operate nine additional trains, restoring the line's service level to 96 percent of its pre-Sandy schedule. Currently, NJ Transit is operating 101 of the 114 pre-Sandy scheduled trains along the North Jersey Coast Line. As of Jan. 14, NJ Transit will be operating 110 of those 114 trains.
Two of the added North Jersey Coast Line trains will operate between Long Branch and New York Penn Station, bringing NJ Transit back to 100 percent of its pre-Sandy service level to and from New York. The remaining seven trains will either originate or terminate in Bay Head, with four of those trains resuming direct service between Bay Head and Hoboken Terminal.
Systemwide, NJ Transit's rail division will reach 94 percent of its pre-Sandy service level with the Jan. 14 schedule change, operating 658 of the 700 weekday trains scheduled prior to the storm, compared to the 630 weekday trains operating now. Weekend service was restored to near pre-storm levels as of December 3rd.
Flooding from Hurricane Sandy and the resulting exposure to saltwater destroyed NJ Transit's Mason Substation in Hoboken, a critical component of NJ Transit's infrastructure that provides electric power for trains to operate into and out of Hoboken Terminal each day.
With no electric power available, diesel-powered trains have been substituted for electric-powered trains into and out of Hoboken, particularly along the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex Lines. Approximately 24 electric-powered trains that operated along the Gladstone Branch pre-Sandy have been replaced by diesel-powered trains.
NJ Transit tentatively anticipates electric power to be restored to Hoboken Terminal by March, at which time electric trains will be restored to the affected lines.