NEWARK — NJ Transit canceled eight trains, including seven on the Morris & Essex Line ahead of Friday morning's commute all blaming a "manpower shortage."

The six initial cancellations of the morning trains were posted on the Twitter account of the line before 5 a.m.

The cancellations meant that some other trains took on extra passengers and bypassed stations because they were too full.

The canceled trains as of 7:40 a.m.:

Montclair/Boonton Line

  • 8:22 a.m. (#1074) from Penn Station NY

Morris + Essex Line

  • 7:32 a.m. (#312) from Summit
  • 8:55 a.m. (#480) from Bernardsville
  • 6:55 a.m. (#481) from Hoboken
  • 6:07 a.m. (#852) from Mount Olive
  • 6:56 a.m. (#308) from Summit
  • 5:38 a.m.(#871) from Hoboken
  • 5:10 a.m. (#402) from Gladstone

NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith said in an email there were "a higher than usual number of vacancies this morning on the M&E."

NJ Transit has consistently blamed a lack of engineers for many of its problems with canceled trains over the past year.

At its board meeting on Wednesday, attended by a contingent of Atlantic City Line riders frustrated by the line's continued suspension of service, Atlantic County Freeholder John Risley said they were told there are six classes of engineers in training. The first of those classes will be completed at the end of April, with the potential of 12 new engineers.

One suggestion to staff the line with engineers from out of state was shot down by the Federal Railroad Administration.

At a January press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy said FRA regulations state that even if you have experience as an engineer from another railroad, you need "education that is specific to NJ Transit's route system."

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

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