Skip to comments.New Jersey railway put trains in Sandy flood zone despite warnings
Posted on 11/21/2012 4:07:53 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
New Jersey Transit's struggle to recover from Superstorm Sandy is being compounded by a pre-storm decision to park much of its equipment in two rail yards that forecasters predicted would flood, a move that resulted in damage to one-third of its locomotives and a quarter of its passenger cars.
That damage is likely to cost tens of millions of dollars and take many months to repair, a Reuters examination has found.
The Garden State's commuter railway parked critical equipment - including much of its newest and most expensive stock - at its low-lying main rail yard in Kearny just before the hurricane. It did so even though forecasters had released maps showing the wetland-surrounded area likely would be under water when Sandy's expected record storm surge hit. Other equipment was parked at its Hoboken terminal and rail yard, where flooding also was predicted and which has flooded before.
Among the damaged equipment: nine dual-powered locomotive engines and 84 multi-level rail cars purchased over the past six years at a cost of about $385 million.
"If there's a predicted 13-foot or 10-foot storm surge, you don't leave your equipment in a low-lying area," said David Schanoes, a railroad consultant and former deputy chief of field operations for Metro North Railroad, a sister railway serving New York State. "It's just basic railroading. You don't leave your equipment where it can be damaged."
As of Friday, almost three weeks after the storm, the agency was still struggling to restore full service for its 136,000 daily rail commuters, running just 37 trains into New York Penn Station during the morning rush hour, rather than its usual 63. More service will be restored on Monday. The disruptions have caused long delays and crowded trains for Jersey residents who work in the biggest U.S. city.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I love New Jersey. It’s just its political leaders I can’t stand.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Who do you think you are, DC politicians?
Calling Al Gore, Mop Up in Railroad yard.
Nothing, but nothing, surprises me about the swamp that is New Jersey.
Willie Green is deeply saddened.
Was this an attempt to get new trains?
I had a neighbor who was hoping for a tree to fall on his car. He used to park it under a tree in the middle of his yard every time it got stormy.
Politicians know more than engineers! Ask the geniuses in Washington DC! [shakes head]
No, this was a failure to envision a proper worst case scenario. It happens sometimes. Some heads need to roll.
NJ TRANSIT made the same understandable mistake many people and leaders in New Jersey made with this storm. They based their storm preparations on the recent experience with Hurricane Irene last year. That storm brought drenching rain that caused severe flooding throughout the interior of New Jersey, while coastal flooding wasn't very bad. This storm brought little rain but a coastal storm surge of historic proportions, which meant the flooding wasn't the same as was last time.
the basic problems with railcars is that you need to park them in rail yards.
How do you spell “FLOODS” and “STORM SURGE”?
In New Jersey, it’s spelled “STUPID”, “INCOMPETENT”, “SHORT-SIGHTED”, of just plain “DUMB and DUMBER”.
A private railroad -- one in which the stockholder-owners of valuable capital expected reasonable fiduciary responsibility from management -- might have put more thought into this decision. What happened last year probably wouldn't suffice.
Please, don’t believe this was and accident. They knew full well what would happen. Now, they will beg the taxpayer to buy new ones. Just think of all the union jobs that will “save”.
Metro North is made up of assets from the New Haven and New York Central railroads.
All these entities were driven out of business by a combination of unions and government over-regulation.
The resulting transportation authorities are political constructs, which often means that concepts like fiduciary responsibility and common sense are left at the door.
I believe most of the NJ TRANSIT fleet is manufactured by Bombardier in Quebec. To add insult to injury, there are likely to be extensive delays in the repairs and replacement of this rolling stock ... since the workers at the Bombardier plant have been on strike for a while.
That sounds more like a Rob Schneider bit from SNL.
Oh, I'm sure there is some American Unionized company that will standing in line waiting for the money.
The last I heard is that once Morrison-Knudsen got out of the game, there are no longer any American companies making passenger railcars. Everything is from Canada, Europe or Japan.
Once I built a railroad, made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a rairoad, now it’s done
Brother can you spare a dime?
From news stories it looked like they parked a large number of there taxi cabs there too.
Have a friend who works for one of the railroads. Said there is a huge shortage of cars already, many others are sidelined because they can no longer be repaired and it is impossible to add new cars to their fleet because government regulations create very long delivery times at a cost that is not feasible.
The government is eliminating trucks, railcars and passenger vehicles. Perhaps I need to see if I have any Amish relatives.
Haven’t heard much out of Ray Nagin lately. From the looks of things he must have been working for NJT.
Bombardier’s rail group was merged with Adtranz over ten years ago. Bomardier was like a goldfish swallowing a whale when they bought Adtranz from Daimler. Bombardier’s stock price has never reached the $30 level since. Because of management issues, Adranz has always been a low margin operation.
Changes in the ownership of Adtranz going back in history reflect that and prove it was an ill advised purchase by Bombardier.
New Jersey, New York, New Orleans - seems like the “New” States/Cities, have some serious common sense deficiencies. I wonder what else they have in common...
>>The resulting transportation authorities are political constructs, which often means that concepts like fiduciary responsibility and common sense are left at the door.
I have a great illustration of that from MARTA, the public transit system here in Atlanta. About 15 years ago they made a welfare queen the chairman of the board. It was bad enough they put her *on* the board at all, the idea being to have a representative of one of their major rider groups. But then they went and made her chairman! No real qualifications for the role, other than “good at cashing a welfare check and living in public housing”.