July 31, 2015

Aging infrastructure plagues NEC

railyard; train yard; yard

In Maryland, a century-old rail tunnel needed emergency repairs this winter because of soil erosion from leaks, causing widespread train delays. In Connecticut, an aging swing bridge failed to close twice last summer, stopping train service and stranding passengers. And last week, New Jersey Transit riders had a truly torturous experience. There were major delays [...]

President Obama announces PEB 248 in NJT dispute

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Washington, D.C. – Today (July 15, 2015), President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate and to make recommendations for settlement of the current disputes between the New Jersey Transit Rail and the NJT Rail Labor Coalition. The Executive Order established the Presidential Emergency Board effective July 16, 2015, [...]

Will bill fix Amtrak problems that delay commuters?

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NJ Transit commuters could see benefits from a bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to pump $6.6 billion over four years into Amtrak’s aging infrastructure, which could repair or replace some of the signals, overhead wire and track issues blamed for delays. The bill would add money to Amtrak’s budget [...]

NMB releases unions on NJ Transit, PEB next

NMB logo; National Mediation Board

The National Mediation Board yesterday released from further mediation every commuter union on New Jersey Transit (NJT).            The unions, working together in the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition, immediately announced their intention to invoke a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which will make non-binding recommendations to settle the four year [...]

SMART joins NJT Rail Labor Coalition

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SMART Transportation Division’s General Committee of Adjustment  GO 610 representing conductors and trainmen, General Committee of Adjustment GO 340 representing yardmasters and SMART Sheet Metal Mechanical and Engineering Local 396 representing mechanical workers have joined the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition in asking the National Mediation Board (NMB) to proffer arbitration to its members after reaching an [...]

NJT fares could be hiked as much as 9 percent

Commuters could be hit with an NJ Transit fare increase that might reach 9 percent in fiscal year 2016, based on budget documents for the coming year. NJ Transit’s budget documents said revenue from fares would increase by 8.8 percent, from the $928.6 million earned in fiscal year 2015 to $1.01 billion in 2016, according [...]

NJT to train crews: Next stop, charm school

Some NJ Transit rail employees who deal with commuters will find themselves back in the classroom next year for a customer relations refresher. The program was prompted by issues brought up by commuters on social media and shared with NJ Transit. The two day training classes will start in early 2015. Read the complete story [...]

104-year-old bridge presents $900M problem

It carries more passenger trains than any other railroad bridge in the Western Hemisphere, yet few people beyond those who rely on it have heard of it. It goes largely unnoticed, unless something goes wrong, which happens with irritating frequency. After all, the bridge is 104 years old. Every time it swings open to let [...]

Report offers analysis of Super Bowl rail delays

NEWARK, N.J. — A report released Friday on New Jersey Transit’s Super Bowl performance in February describes confusion on the ground and disagreement among top officials as train delays worsened, but praised the agency’s overall performance. The 148-page report was commissioned by NJ Transit’s board of directors and prepared by the law firm of McElroy, [...]

Ex-NJT rail chief lands job with N.Y. MTA

NJ Transit’s former railroad chief, who was pushed out in March following two tumultuous years that included the flooding of nearly 400 rail cars and locomotives during Superstorm Sandy, has landed a job within New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Kevin O’Connor, the former vice-president of rail at NJ Transit, started April 10 as Metro-North Railroad’s [...]