- Published: 18 April 2017
- Written by John Bobsin
The April 14 stranding of more than a thousand NJ Transit passengers under the Hudson River was not due to infrastructure problems, according to Amtrak, which owns the track involved. Reporting by Larry Higgs for NJ Advance Media (and published in the Star-Ledger on April 18) quotes Amtrak spokesperson Mike Tolbert as saying "Amtrak has determined that the incident involving NJ Transit Train 3850 last Friday was not caused by Amtrak infrastructure, and that the preliminary cause appears to be a NJ Transit mechanical problem involving the train's pantograph (power collector)." Previously, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had blamed Amtrak for not maintaining its infrastructure, causing previous problems including a derailment of an NJT train; Gov. Christie threatened to withhold NJ Transit payments to Amtrak for the use of Amtrak's track and facilities. After Amtrak blamed NJT for the latest incident, Gov. Christie's spokesperson accused Amtrak of blaming NJT prematurely. State legislators called for an end to the two agencies blaming each other, saying both were underfunded. And State Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) went one step further, blaming Gov. Christie for the underfunding of NJT: "What we're seeing is the greatest legacy of Gov. Christie, the decline of NJ Transit."