NJ Transit blames cold for over a dozen canceled trains
NEWARK — NJ Transit continued to be plagued by cold weather issues during Monday morning's commute, with more than a dozen trains canceled.
A tally of messages on Twitter accounts for individual lines showed 15 trains canceled on the Northeast Corridor, Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex, Montclair-Boonton, and North Jersey Coast Lines. There were also delays of 30-60 minutes on trains in and out of New York Penn Station due to both a disabled NJ Transit train and another Amtrak train in the tunnel.
Delays were down to 30 minutes by 11 a.m.
"Extreme cold weather impacted our equipment ... we are putting out as much service as we can with the equipment available," spokeswoman Nancy Snyder told New Jersey 101.5, adding that equipment not being used over the weekend further affected Monday's service.
NJ Transit started the morning with a warning for commuters to allow for extra time because of the equipment issues.
Commuter Mandy Saffer said there were trains stopped on the tracks at Secaucus Junction trying to get through the tunnel that wouldn't open their doors to take on passengers.
"We finally boarded another train, waited 10 minutes and were told to get off as the train was going to go back west with no passengers," Saffer told New Jersey 101.5.
"Frustrating today since I am planning early departure b/c of PM storm," commuter Adam Dvorin said.
A stolen NJ Transit Police SUV was driven into a set of doors into the Hoboken Terminal around 8 a.m. causing significant damage. A ticket window in the waiting room had to be closed by the incident. A suspect was taken into custody, according to NJ Transit. Train service was not affected by the incident.
A broken rail also caused problems for PATH with a 90 minute closure between Hoboken and World Trade, Hoboken to 33rd Street and Journal Square to World Trade and Journal Square to 33rd Street.
Cold weather was blamed by Snyder for a total of 25 trains canceled on Friday during the morning and afternoon commutes. However, she told the Wall Street Journal that 190 crew members took an "unscheduled absence" on Friday. Snyder said equipment issues were more to blame than staffing issues.
Amtrak on Monday began a nearly five-month track upgrade project at Penn Station, which caused NJ Transit to shuffle schedules for two morning and three afternoon rush hour trains on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines.
New York Waterway and Seastreak also canceled service from Monmouth County on Monday because of a 15-foot thick sheet of ice between Sandy Hook and New York Harbor.
How will the new Penn Station project affect your commute? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ and be part of our Commuter Advisory Board.
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