Trains News Wire Digest for Wednesday, April 8

SEPTA to make drastic cuts; San Jose area's light rail to return; first NJ Transit virus death
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Wednesday morning COVID-19-related rail news:

— The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will dramatically slash service on Thursday, April 9, suspending service on some of its Regional Rail lines, closing some subway stations, and decreasing bus and trolley frequencies as part of what it is calling “Lifeline Service.” SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards told the Philadelphia Inquirer that decreased use of the transit system “is not optional … The SEPTA Transit Police will be in stations and on vehicles ensuring that those who are traveling have good reason to be on the system.” Six Regional Rail lines will shut down, while two will be shortened; those two, and the other three Regional lines still operating, will operate on two-hour frequencies. More information is available here. The move comes after a third SEPTA employee died of COVID-19-related causes.

— Two weeks after the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority shut down its light rail service, the service will resume. The shutdown, on March 25, followed a positive COVID-19 test by an operator trainee; since then, the equipment has been deep-cleaned, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The restored service will operate on 30-minute headways on weekdays only, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

— NJ Transit is reporting the first coronavirus death of one of its employees. Joe Hansen, 62, a conductor who had most recently worked on the Raritan Valley Line, died Tuesday. “Today we mourn the loss of one of our own,” NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett said in a statement. “… Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends at NJ Transit.” reports that, as of Tuesday, 87 NJ Transit employees have tested positive for the virus; 571 are in quarantine; and 159 have returned to work after being cleared.


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