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NJT Head Says More Government Funding Needed

New Jersey Transit
Flickr User Michael McDonough

Today was the second day in a row for lengthy delays on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor line that New Jersey Transit trains run on as a fatality on the tracks in Hamilton shuts down the Northeast Corridor between New York and Philadelphia.

Amtrak says passengers on the Northeast Corridor can expect continued delays of up to 30 minutes between New York and Philadelphia due to a fatal accident on the tracks in Hamilton.

Officials say the accident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday. It involved a trespasser who was struck by an Acela Express train just west of the Hamilton Township station.

None of the 170 passengers and crew aboard the train were hurt. It had departed from Boston and was headed to Washington.

All service between New York and Philadelphia had been suspended after the accident occurred. But Amtrak says two of the four available tracks are now open, though all train traffic there is moving at restricted speeds.

The line, which is owned and run by Amtrak, has been plagued with problems over the last few months.

NJT Executive Director James Weinstein admitted there have been some real challenges on the Northeast Corridor.  However, he said more funding is needed by the federal government to fix these problems.

Weinstein said, “The bottom line is that Amtrak has been underfunded by Congress almost since the day it was created.”

NJT pays $100 million a year for capital improvements and other measures.

“Until the kinds of investments that are needed on the Northeast Corridor are made, we’re going to continue to have problems,” said Weinstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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