More cancellations and delays for NJ Transit on Wednesday
TRENTON — NJ Transit continued to cancel trains due to unspecified mechanical and operational issues on Wednesday, for the fourth weekday in a row, as some ferry service resumed from Monmouth County.
At least seven trains were canceled as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to a tally of each individual line's Twitter account. Other trains experienced delays but completed their trips.
The canceled trains were:
- ACRL train #4612, the 6:49 a.m. from Absecon, canceled due to mechanical problems, with customers redirected to train #4616, the 9:02 a.m. from Absecon.
- NEC train #3934, the 8:56 a.m. from Trenton, canceled due to operational issues.
- NEC train #3930, the 8:11 a.m. from Trenton, canceled due to operational issues
- NEC train #5822, the 7:05 a.m. from New Brunswick, canceled due to operational issues.
- RVL train #5416, the 6:53 a.m. from Raritan, canceled due to operational issues.
- NJCL train #2606, the 6:48 a.m. from Long Branch, canceled due to an operational issue.
- NEC train #3811, the 4:51 a.m. from New York Penn Station, canceled due to mechanical problems.
The Atlantic City Line, which did not have any cancellations until Wednesday, had equipment issues which created 90-minute delays after 8 a.m.
A total of 25 trains were canceled on Friday and 27 trains on Monday. Fifteen trains were canceled on Tuesday morning, but only five on Tuesday afternoon.
Riders complained on social media about trains being short of cars, as well as a lack of staff.on some trains.
Story continues after the tweets...
NJ Transit continued to blame the cancellations on the recent extreme cold. "NJ Transit is currently working through a backlog of weather related equipment issues and is returning rail cars to service as quickly as possible," spokesman Jim Smith said in an email.
Temperatures went about freezing in many areas of the state on Tuesday but went back into the teens and 20s overnight causing a refreeze of melted snow.
Smith said examples of weather related equipment issues include snow, ice and salt getting jammed in doors. "When trains operate through snow it gets into electrical equipment and sometimes into brake rigging," Smith said.
At a legislative hearing on Monday NJ Transit rail operations director Robert Lavell said parts are getting harder to come by for older passenger cars because vendors no longer carry them. Lavell said his department tries to order parts to have on hand but also don't want to have too many on hand that won't be used.
He estimated there are 65 pieces of equipment waiting for material and a total of 230 waiting for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
"It is taking us longer to get parts for our equipment. Our procurement department has lost a lot of talented individuals and we're in the process of hiring to bring staffing back up again. We also have older equipment that is failing more frequently...we are in the process of replacing that equipment," Lavell said.
Nearly 200 crew members called out for an "unscheduled absence" on Friday, the agency told the Wall Street Journal. A spokesman declined a request for the number of crew members out on Monday and Tuesday, and said an Open Public Records Act request must be filed for the information.
Commuters who use Seastreak and NY Waterway were able to resume using service from their respective Atlantic Highlands and Belford terminals, after tugs broke up the ice on Tuesday.
"We are pleased to report that the tugboats that we hired are successfully opening the channel into the Belford Channel. There is substantial ice build in the Raritan Bay, but we are confident we can navigate with the escorts of the tugs," NY Waterway wrote on its website.
Rider Megan Weston said "Captain Mike" warned riders to prepare for a rough ride and that there was still a lot of ice, with the possibility of power being lost.
Michael Symons contributed to this report
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