New Jersey Transit (NJT) has announced that more trains will be eliminated, so the agency can continue to install needed equipment for Positive Train Control (PTC).  As the year-end deadline approaches, NJT must accelerate its program to install the equipment in locomotives and cab cars, and on the lines.

The Morris & Essex (M&E) and Gladstone Lines are the most severely-affected, with eight weekday trains eliminated.  These include the last train of the evening from Dover to Hoboken, which currently leaves at 11:30.  We are concerned about this train, because it is the last train of the night, and because we previously fought to have it restored to the schedule after it had been eliminated in 2015.  The last departure from Dover will be at 10:29 after the new schedules take effect on October 14th; the earliest in memory.

There will be no Gladstone trains on the week-ends; there will be substitute bus service west of Summit, instead.  The Coalition was pleasantly surprised when Gladstone trains ran this past summer, but the service outage will occur during the fall and winter, instead.  Similarly, the "Dinky" train in Princeton will not run on week-ends; buses will also substitute for those trains.

The first train from Hoboken to Montclair State Station will also be a casualty.  It currently leaves at 6:11, but the first train will not leave until 6:42 under the new schedule.

There are also cuts on the Main/Bergen, North Jersey Coast and Northeast Corridor (NEC) lines, but they will not be as severe as the service reductions on the M&E and Gladstone lines.  The Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley Lines are not affected, but Raritan Valley "one-seat ride" service to New York was eliminated after Labor Day.  So was all service on the Atlantic City Rail Line.

NJT management says that these cuts are temporary, and we consider that a promise.  We know that the cuts will constitute a hardship for some of our constituents, and will be inconvenient for many more.  We know that the deadline for installing PTC is a strict one, but we believe it would have been better if management had worked with us about revising the schedules on our lines, rather than pulling several trains from the schedule, especially the last inbound train of the night from Dover and the first train of the morning to Montclair.

There are other trains that will not be removed from the schedule, but whose times will be changed.  In some cases, the changes will be significant.  We suggest that you check the new schedules when they appear.  At this writing, they have not been posted on NJT's web site, www.njtransit.com, nor are they available in "hard copy" form.

We will continue to monitor the situation.  We remain concerned that more trains will be eliminated before the year is over, and that the pattern of annulling trains (cancelling them before they leave their point of origin) will continue.  We also want to be sure that every train that we have lost is restored to the schedule as soon as possible.