NEWARK — NJ Transit again blamed "engineer availability" for the cancellation of more than a dozen trains Friday morning and the afternoon looks to be a difficult commute as well.

Trains canceled trains for Friday afternoon (between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) as of 3:40p.m:.

Morris & Essex Line:

  • 5:28 p.m. (#807) from Hoboken due to PTC equipment availability
  • 7:58 p.m. (#6672) from Dover due to engineer availability
  • 5:49 p.m. (#6653) from Penn Station NY due to engineer availability
  • 3:20 p.m. (#6654) from Dover due to engineer availability
  • 3:12 p.m. (#8939) from Penn Station NY due to PTC equipment availability

Northeast Corridor

  • 5:29 p.m. (#3953) from Penn Station NY due to PTC equipment availability
  • 5:31 p.m. (#3898) from Trenton due to PTC equipment availability
  • 4:50 p.m. (#3165) from Penn Station NY due to engineer availability
  • 4:30 p.m. (#3861) from Penn Stattion NY due to PTC equipment availability

North Jersey Coast Line

  • 5:05 p.m. (#3363) from Penn Station NY due to PTC equipment availability

New Jersey 101.5's count of the trains on their line's respective Twitter accounts that were canceled between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday morning's totaled 13.

Eight Northeast Corridor and five North Jersey Coast Line trains were among those canceled. Two trains had been announced as being canceled on the North Jersey Coast Line but one was reinstated.

Rider Andrew Saad said his train Friday morning between Newark and New York was so crowded he had to ride between cars, a moment he captured on video.

The cancellations were blamed mostly on the ongoing engineer staffing situation, which NJ Transit has recognized and is working on improving. The roster of available engineers is almost 50 short, according to the railroad.

Nine new engineers have joined the ranks in recent weeks.

A message to James G. Brown, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

State Sen. Tom Kean, R-Union, in a message on Twitter called on NJ Transit to accelerate its efforts to address staffing shortages

"We will keep up the fight to hold NJT accountable for safe & reliable service," Kean wrote. The Republican leader is sponsor of a bill that will eliminate residency requirements for NJ Transit engineers.

Riders were not happy with the crowded trains and sudden cancellations. NJ Transit has been promising to improve communication with riders.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ