NJ Transit cancellation woes to persist for rest of year, governor says

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SECAUCUS, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy conceded at a press conference this week that NJ Transit’s problems with cancelled trains will continue to the rest of the year, again pointing to installation of positive train control as part of the issue.

“We'll continue to have a challenging time through New Year's Eve,” Murphy said at at a press conference Tuesday, according to an NJ.com report. Murphy admitted to frustration with ongoing train cancellations, which soared to 19 during last Friday’s pre-holiday afternoon rush. The NJ.com report says 10 of those were blamed on equipment that wasn’t available because of PTC installation, eight because of a lack of an engineer, and one because of a mechanical problem.

“When we came in, NJ Transit was 13 percent toward the objective, now, they're a little higher than 60 percent,” Murphy said. “That comes at a price of pulling trains off line (to install PTC equipment). It's why we had to close the Atlantic City Line. We had no choice; we were dealt a lousy hand.”

NJ Transit’s Atlantic City rail line closed on Wednesday, and is not expected to reopen until early 2019. [See "NJ Transit to shut down Atlantic City line for PTC installation," Trains News Wire, Aug. 6, 2018.]

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