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NJ Transit 'confident' it will meet PTC deadline, Diegnan says

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New Jersey Transit officials said they are two-thirds of the way complete with the installation of positive train control, a federally mandated braking system that must be fully installed by Dec. 31.

Senate Transportation Chair Pat Diegnan, D-18th District, said Thursday the statewide transit agency completed installation on 151 vehicles across 326 miles of track.

“They are confident that they will be able to meet the Dec. 31, 2018 deadline,” Diegnan said about NJ Transit. “There were really handed a mess when they took over this year. They had to make some very unpopular decisions to get it done.”

Diegnan’s update comes days after New Jersey Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, at a Wednesday board meeting, said the agency was ready to begin testing PTC on the Northeast Corridor Line.

If NJ Transit doesn’t meet the Dec. 31 deadline, Amtrak officials said they won’t allow it to use the tracks, setting up a potential nightmare scenario for the thousands of commuters who use the trains every day.

Transit officials, to fast-track the installation, have regularly taken staff and trains offline to install the equipment, leading to as much as dozens of delays and cancellations each week.

In September, the Atlantic City Line was officially shut down for the remainder of 2018 while the agency continues installation along its only rail line in South Jersey.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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