NJ Transit Now Knows Where to Put Its Trains When a Storm Comes

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 12:19 PM

South Orange commuters waiting in line for a bus in the days after Sandy (Nancy Solomon)

A year and a half after Sandy, NJ Transit finally knows where to put its trains in the event of a hurricane.   

In October 2012, as Sandy bore down, the agency was caught flat-footed. It chose to store its trains in a swamp (a.k.a. the Meadows Maintenance Complex) with results that were both predictable and predicted: the yards flooded, a third of the fleet was destroyed, commuters were frustrated for months, and the tab came to $120 million. 

As a WNYC/Record investigation found, NJ Transit had missed years of warnings about climate change planning. Its hurricane plan at the time was just 3 1/2 pages.  It contained nuggets such as where to store snacks for workers, but the nation's third largest transit agency had no idea where to put its trains.

The new plan shows just how slight the old one was. Its 22 pages contain detailed instructions about where to put trains ("T-12/18 Hours: Move Hoboken equipment to Bergen Tunnel..."), the chain of command, transporting workers to make sure all of them are in the right place when the system shuts down, how to inspect equipment to get it up and running, and lots of other detail. 

The plan "outlines the basic organizational structure and lines of authority under which Rail will operate in the event of an emergency or disaster of any level."


Comments [4]

Hmm. After he pulling the plug on the tunnel, then blocking the bridge -- I'm sure lots of New Jerseyans would welcome a chance tell Christie exactly where he could put his half a billion dollars worth of waterlogged trains.

Jun. 13 2014 04:11 PM
JOSEPH P. WALL from Pelham Bay, Bronx

A little common sense upstairs should have told New Jersey Transit that, in the event of a large storm like Sandy, trains should have been stored in underground tunnels. However, unlike the M.T.A subway routes in New York City, most of the train routes that New Jersey Transit operates, New Jersey Transit has little or no tunnel space to store its trains so, it must also solve that problem too.PELHAM

Jun. 13 2014 12:52 PM
JJ from NYC

The "new plan" link is broken. Canyou post the report?

Jun. 13 2014 10:27 AM
Christopher from New Jersey

There is a mistake in the article. As you know, Sandy was in October 2012 and not October 2013.

Jun. 12 2014 03:33 PM

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