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New Jersey Transit’s Engines Parked as Train-Control Software Won’t Work

  • Commuter delays mount as railroad’s federal deadline looms
  • Older equipment showing its age with door and toilet troubles
Amtrak Track Repairs At Penn Station Expected To Cause Continued Delays
Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New Jersey Transit’s race to fulfill a federal mandate for emergency train-braking has left it short of equipment, causing weeks of service cuts and crowding that are likely to worsen as the December deadline nears.

About 8 percent of engines and other power equipment on the nation’s second-biggest commuter railroad have been outfitted since late last year with so-called positive train control. They were expected to return to service after about a week of software tests, but none have. Instead, technicians have been struggling to make the new electronics work with old systems, according to two people who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss operations.