NJT will shut down Atlantic City line for months

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NJT will shut down Atlantic City line for months
Posted by oltmannd on Saturday, August 04, 2018 6:06 PM

...because they are WAY behind getting PTC installed.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/08/03/atlantic-city-rail-line-shutting-down/

 

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, August 04, 2018 9:30 PM

Anderson may have to do some fast yap dancing and thinking.  He cerainly would not want to have to re start Atlantic city service by Amtrak since it appears that there is not enough equipment available.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Saturday, August 04, 2018 9:42 PM

Bustitution? What are the bus options?

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:23 AM

Amtrak no longer runs to AC, but I believe they dispatch the line for NJT.  I wonder with the line shut down if NJT can avoid paying Amtrak a dispatching fee.

NJT is really in a big mess with PTC...

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:24 AM

I understand the article that this results from crew and equipment shortages rather than having to shut the line down for installation of PTC.

 

So posibly a private operator can step up to the bat?  

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:38 AM

I call bull on NJT. 

They have had all the time that the Class 1 carriers and Amtrak have had to install PTC.  Until the start of 2018 all they did, like the bulk of quasi-governmental rail operating organizations, was TALK about PTC and take no positive actions to design and implement PTC, feeling that they would be 'saved' from the requirements by crying poormouth of being quasi-governmental.  Now with 3+ months to meet the reqirement the reality of their situation is hitting home.

I have no idea of the logistics of their PTC implementation on the affected lines, but shutting the lines down, to me, sounds like a cop out and a attack on the customer base of those lines. 

         

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:47 AM

daveklepper

I understand the article that this results from crew and equipment shortages rather than having to shut the line down for installation of PTC.

 

So posibly a private operator can step up to the bat?  

 

The problem is NJT doesn't have the locomotives and cab cars equipped with PTC.  They want to use the five sets of equipment on the AC Line to cover some routes in the while they work as fast as they can to get the equipment installed.  Crews aren't a problem.  The AC Line has plenty of crews.  I don't know of any private operators that have equipment....

Just messing around with the existing schedules, I seems that a single set of equipment could roughly cover all but 3 of the existing trips if they just run between Lindenwold and AC and have folks use PATCO to for the last miles to Phila.  Cherry Hill folk would have to drive to Lindenwold (for AC) or Ferry Ave (for Phila).  Pennsauken folk would can use RiverLine to Camden to PATCO (for Phila or AC)

Some folk are speculating that this is a way for NJT to walk away from the AC Line.  It's losses are higher than the commuter lines in the north (because South Jersey doesn't have the highway congestion and so can't demand high fares)

It's a risk, but I don't think the politicians in the south will let it happen.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Sunday, August 05, 2018 8:15 AM

oltmannd

 Traffic is light on the line with only a handfull of passengers when I rode it on a Sat morning could they go to RDC cars like the Riverline?

 
daveklepper

I understand the article that this results from crew and equipment shortages rather than having to shut the line down for installation of PTC.

 

So posibly a private operator can step up to the bat?  

 

 

 

The problem is NJT doesn't have the locomotives and cab cars equipped with PTC.  They want to use the five sets of equipment on the AC Line to cover some routes in the while they work as fast as they can to get the equipment installed.  Crews aren't a problem.  The AC Line has plenty of crews.  I don't know of any private operators that have equipment....

Just messing around with the existing schedules, I seems that a single set of equipment could roughly cover all but 3 of the existing trips if they just run between Lindenwold and AC and have folks use PATCO to for the last miles to Phila.  Cherry Hill folk would have to drive to Lindenwold (for AC) or Ferry Ave (for Phila).  Pennsauken folk would can use RiverLine to Camden to PATCO (for Phila or AC)

Some folk are speculating that this is a way for NJT to walk away from the AC Line.  It's losses are higher than the commuter lines in the north (because South Jersey doesn't have the highway congestion and so can't demand high fares)

It's a risk, but I don't think the politicians in the south will let it happen.

 

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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, August 05, 2018 8:46 AM

oltmannd
 ...because they are WAY behind getting PTC installed. 

A Trinity Railway Express conductor told me yesterday that TRE had equipped two locomotives and two cab cars with the PTC equipment, but it did not expect to meet the PTC deadline for all of the equipment.  He said management told the crews that they expected to get an extension of the deadline. 

Speaking of the TRE, eastbound trains between Fort Worth and Dallas run with the cab car forward.  When the engineer sounds the horn for the grade crossings, the horn on the locomotive that is pushing the train sounds also.  Can they not turn off the horn on the locomotive?   

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:50 PM

PJS1
Can they not turn off the horn on the locomotive?   

They trainlined the horn?  That is very weird.

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, August 05, 2018 8:57 PM

BaltACD

I call bull on NJT. 

They have had all the time that the Class 1 carriers and Amtrak have had to install PTC.  Until the start of 2018 all they did, like the bulk of quasi-governmental rail operating organizations, was TALK about PTC and take no positive actions to design and implement PTC, feeling that they would be 'saved' from the requirements by crying poormouth of being quasi-governmental.  Now with 3+ months to meet the reqirement the reality of their situation is hitting home.

I have no idea of the logistics of their PTC implementation on the affected lines, but shutting the lines down, to me, sounds like a cop out and a attack on the customer base of those lines. 

 

So, if you had coherent, consistent upper management, you'd be right.  But, what happened is Gov. Christie loaded up the top end of NJT mgt. with his political hacks who then ignored the warnings from the staff that knew what needed to happen.

Add on NJ's budget problems that "caused" NJT to ask for and receive no PTC money.

Plus, general underfunding of NJT operations such that they haven't been able field a complete set or equipment every day.

...and you have a mess.  It wasn't until the new Gov fired Christie's cronies and saw what lay before them that they started even having a plan to try to comply with the PTC law.

So, the folk who caused this mess are gone and the new folk have a big mess dumped in their  laps.

The AC line is the least important to overall mobility in the state, so it was ripe to raid for equipment.  Politically, it's a bad move.  They should have tried some sort of cut-back, not complete bustitution.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, August 05, 2018 10:14 PM

oltmannd
 
BaltACD

I call bull on NJT. 

They have had all the time that the Class 1 carriers and Amtrak have had to install PTC.  Until the start of 2018 all they did, like the bulk of quasi-governmental rail operating organizations, was TALK about PTC and take no positive actions to design and implement PTC, feeling that they would be 'saved' from the requirements by crying poormouth of being quasi-governmental.  Now with 3+ months to meet the reqirement the reality of their situation is hitting home.

I have no idea of the logistics of their PTC implementation on the affected lines, but shutting the lines down, to me, sounds like a cop out and a attack on the customer base of those lines.  

So, if you had coherent, consistent upper management, you'd be right.  But, what happened is Gov. Christie loaded up the top end of NJT mgt. with his political hacks who then ignored the warnings from the staff that knew what needed to happen.

Add on NJ's budget problems that "caused" NJT to ask for and receive no PTC money.

Plus, general underfunding of NJT operations such that they haven't been able field a complete set or equipment every day.

...and you have a mess.  It wasn't until the new Gov fired Christie's cronies and saw what lay before them that they started even having a plan to try to comply with the PTC law.

So, the folk who caused this mess are gone and the new folk have a big mess dumped in their  laps.

The AC line is the least important to overall mobility in the state, so it was ripe to raid for equipment.  Politically, it's a bad move.  They should have tried some sort of cut-back, not complete bustitution.

While you may have explained NJT - the reality is that most of the quasi-governmental commuter agencies (without Christie's cronies) took a similar tact in their efforts of PTC 'compliance'.  Watching the trade news a half dozen or more agencies initiated PTC contracts with suppliers THIS YEAR; having, appearently, made absolutely NO ATTEMPT to comply with the 12/31/2015 date.

All Class 1 had PTC plans and installations being undertake and a few were in use by the 12/31/2015 date.  None of the commuter agencies had anything under real world testing.

         

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, August 10, 2018 2:56 PM

BaltACD

 

 
oltmannd
 
BaltACD

I call bull on NJT. 

They have had all the time that the Class 1 carriers and Amtrak have had to install PTC.  Until the start of 2018 all they did, like the bulk of quasi-governmental rail operating organizations, was TALK about PTC and take no positive actions to design and implement PTC, feeling that they would be 'saved' from the requirements by crying poormouth of being quasi-governmental.  Now with 3+ months to meet the reqirement the reality of their situation is hitting home.

I have no idea of the logistics of their PTC implementation on the affected lines, but shutting the lines down, to me, sounds like a cop out and a attack on the customer base of those lines.  

So, if you had coherent, consistent upper management, you'd be right.  But, what happened is Gov. Christie loaded up the top end of NJT mgt. with his political hacks who then ignored the warnings from the staff that knew what needed to happen.

Add on NJ's budget problems that "caused" NJT to ask for and receive no PTC money.

Plus, general underfunding of NJT operations such that they haven't been able field a complete set or equipment every day.

...and you have a mess.  It wasn't until the new Gov fired Christie's cronies and saw what lay before them that they started even having a plan to try to comply with the PTC law.

So, the folk who caused this mess are gone and the new folk have a big mess dumped in their  laps.

The AC line is the least important to overall mobility in the state, so it was ripe to raid for equipment.  Politically, it's a bad move.  They should have tried some sort of cut-back, not complete bustitution.

 

While you may have explained NJT - the reality is that most of the quasi-governmental commuter agencies (without Christie's cronies) took a similar tact in their efforts of PTC 'compliance'.  Watching the trade news a half dozen or more agencies initiated PTC contracts with suppliers THIS YEAR; having, appearently, made absolutely NO ATTEMPT to comply with the 12/31/2015 date.

All Class 1 had PTC plans and installations being undertake and a few were in use by the 12/31/2015 date.  None of the commuter agencies had anything under real world testing.

 

No argument, there.  METRA might give NJT a run for the "not ready" prize.  NJT wins overall because they've been neglecting more than PTC the last half dozen years or so...

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, August 10, 2018 3:11 PM

Question.  Why does NJT take 2 years to qualify engineers ?  Maybe it needs to qualify some new hires on just one route ?  Once there are enough engineers then NJT could qualify the engineers on other routes ?  Maybe soething in the union contract ?

If Amtrak has a surplus of engineers PHL - NYP qualified then maybe contract Amtrak to run some TRE <> NYPS trains and pay NJT engineers for the displaced work ?

Maybe run the trains as Amtrak trains with NJT equipment ?

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 10, 2018 3:40 PM

blue streak 1
Question.  Why does NJT take 2 years to qualify engineers ?  Maybe it needs to qualify some new hires on just one route ?  Once there are enough engineers then NJT could qualify the engineers on other routes ?  Maybe soething in the union contract ?

If Amtrak has a surplus of engineers PHL - NYP qualified then maybe contract Amtrak to run some TRE <> NYPS trains and pay NJT engineers for the displaced work ?

Maybe run the trains as Amtrak trains with NJT equipment ?

In 21st Century railroad - both passenger and freight - nobody has a surplus of Qualified Engineers and if Qualified Engineers were to go to those properties that need them those properties would still have to get them qualified on the equipment and territoriy(s) they would be expected to operate.  There are no free lunches.

         

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Posted by sandyhookken on Friday, August 17, 2018 3:48 PM

[quote user="blue streak 1"]

Question.  Why does NJT take 2 years to qualify engineers ?  Maybe it needs to qualify some new hires on just one route ?  Once there are enough engineers then NJT could qualify the engineers on other routes ?  Maybe soething in the union contract ?

If Amtrak has a surplus of engineers PHL - NYP qualified then maybe contract Amtrak to run some TRE <> NYPS trains and pay NJT engineers for the displaced work ?

Maybe run the trains as Amtrak trains with NJT equipment ?

 NJTransit engineering classes are 20 months long, with many students "off the street" and having to be taught the basics. Failure rate is above 50%, since many had no concept of the work involved.
NJTransit operates two rail divisions: Newark (NEC, NJCL, RVL, and ACL), and Hoboken (DL&W and Erie). Engineers generally qualify throughout the Division, not individual lines, since more lines qualified means more work.
An issue that has just become publicised is a Christie edict that all state hires must be NJ residents. There is a move in the state legislature to revoke this requirement in the hope that engineers living in other states will apply for jobs.

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