STATE – The heat wave has affected New Jersey commuters who rely on NJ TRANSIT trains. Over the past 24 hours, the agency has experienced an increase in locomotive problems related to the extreme temperatures.
NJ TRANSIT’s fleet of ALP-46 locomotives is equipped with temperature sensors that are designed to protect the equipment from damage caused by extreme heat. When the internal temperature aboard the locomotive reaches 130-135 degrees, the locomotive will automatically shut down to prevent damage, officials said. This situation can occur when the ambient (outdoor) temperature is high for prolonged periods, as with the current heat wave.
To prevent these weather-related locomotives issues, NJ TRANSIT is shutting down the equipment during layovers at endpoint terminals and turning down air conditioning systems when train sets are not in service. Despite these efforts, a number of trains were impacted during the evening commute of Tuesday, July 6.
Several trains were cancelled or combined (i.e. stops were added to express trains to accommodate customers affected by cancellations). For example, Northeast Corridor train 3969 was combined with a cancelled local train, number 3869. Unfortunately, the combined train 3969/3869 became disabled without air conditioning just east of Elizabeth at 6:33 p.m.
The crew was able to restore power for about a minute at 6:51 p.m., making it possible to move the train into Elizabeth Station where passengers could exit to the platform. NJ TRANSIT Police and local fire services were dispatched to ensure that passengers were accommodated at the station.
Due to earlier cancelled trains out of New York, there was not adequate capacity on passing Northeast Corridor trains to accommodate all customers, and an empty rescue train was dispatched to Elizabeth. The rescue train arrived at 7:37 p.m. and departed at 8:18 p.m, making combined stops en route to Trenton, where it arrived at 9:36 p.m.
Other trains during this timeframe encountered delays due to congestion from the transfer of passengers, as well as other equipment problems. NJ TRANSIT announced the cancellation of nine trains today due to the number of locomotives that have been removed from service.
Customers are strongly encouraged to check njtransit.com for the latest service information before starting their trip.
The following is a list of train cancellations as of 11:30 a.m.:
- Morris & Essex train 6343, the 4:43 p.m. departure from New York. (Passengers to train 6643, departing New York at 4:50 p.m. and making all local stops.)
- North Jersey Coast Line train 3441, the 6:52 p.m. departure from New York. Customers for Raritan Valley Line train 5749 should board Northeast Corridor train 3977 (7:03 p.m. from New York). The RVL train will hold for this connection. North Jersey Coast Line passengers should board train 3279, departing New York at 7:08 p.m. and making all local stops.
To accommodate customers affected by train cancellations, certain express trains will make local stops. As a result, these trains will arrive at their destination 10-20 minutes later than scheduled.
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