Hurricane Sandy

Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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amm in ny
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by amm in ny »

amtrakowitz wrote:
ccutler wrote:The issue is not the understandable devastation of the physical infrastructure. The issue is the lack of a disaster recovery facility for the dispatchers, computers and communications infrastructure that is storm-protected and on high ground. Many other trains are ready to run but for the lack of ability to dispatch them. Having dispatching located near a swampy estuary is asking for trouble
"Unprecedented"? Armchair quarterbacking in the face of such an event = Fail.
I'm assuming that "unprecedented" refers to the flooding.

"Unprecedented" does not mean unforseeable. You don't have to be a climate scientist to see that low-lying coastal areas are subject to flooding, and the existence of storm surges has been known for centuries. However, decisions like where to put a ROC are made based on groupthink, and current Western groupthink assumes that weather (and other natural processes) are negligible details that don't require us to change how we do things. (The same thought processes lead to people building tons of million-dollar developments on sand dunes by the sea and then being shocked! shocked! when the sea rolls over the dunes and washes their investments away. Dude: how do you think the sand got there? But I digress.)

In any case, severe flooding due to high ocean levels can no longer be dismissed as "unprecedented," so one would hope that NJT would put onto its to-do list moving the ROC and any other essential facilities to locations less vulnerable to storm, flood, and other disasters. Also, providing alternate equipment storage sites on higher ground to which rolling stock can be moved if high water is anticipated (as it was for this storm.)

morris&essex4ever
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Location: MP 20.5

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by morris&essex4ever »

Some good news: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/NJ-T ... 004210.php
More commuter rail lines are scheduled to resume operation Monday, but many New Jersey commuters still will have to get creative to get to work.

NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein said Friday that service would resume to varying degrees on trains from Bergen County and the New Jersey coast, where track damage could take several more weeks to fully repair. He estimated it would be four to five weeks before all trains would be running again, and even then some might run on adjusted schedules...

NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor line began operating into New York on Friday on a weekend schedule because only one tunnel is available. Weinstein said he had been told by Amtrak, which owns the tracks and tunnels that the second tunnel would reopen by Saturday and allow more trains to move in and out.

Weinstein said the following train service was expected to resume on Monday, on limited schedules:

—The North Jersey Coast Line, which sustained heavy damage at a drawbridge near South Amboy, north from Woodbridge

—The Main/Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines, which will stop at Secaucus instead of going into Hoboken, where the terminal is closed; passengers can change in Secaucus to the Northeast Corridor into New York

—The Raritan Valley Line into Newark

—The River Line between Camden and Trenton, which is in operation on a limited basis, but will resume full service

Some of the additional buses will run directly into lower Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel to make up for suspended PATH service out of Hoboken and Jersey City; Weinstein estimated the Hoboken terminal wouldn't reopen for NJ Transit trains until Nov. 9. Other buses will connect to ferries leaving from terminals along the Hudson waterfront.

"People may find they'll drive to a park-and-ride, then take a bus to a ferry," Weinstein said.

LaHood said an inspection to train cars in the Hoboken and Kearny rail yards concluded that the federal government wouldn't have to furnish additional cars to NJ Transit, as had originally been speculated.
"To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches." Margaret Thatcher

MariusP
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Location: University City, Philadelphia

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by MariusP »

I understand the damage sustained to NJT's system, certainly. I live in the area and I've seen the pictures. However, NJT seems to have put all its eggs into one basket in Newark. It doesn't make sense to me why, that if their operating center in Newark is knocked out, they wouldn't have some other means of operating trains. Keeping in mind this is affecting all their lines, many of which are in a condition that you can start running service on again, but the fact that the computers won't turn on in Newark means no trains. That just doesn't make sense to me, that NJT doesn't have some sort of contingency for a failure in their Newark headquarters. It seems like they should, especially when Amtrak was perfectly able to run trains over the same tracks. The problem in some cases is not the infrastructure which mercifully was spared, but NJT's ability to dispatch trains. Just my two cents. I feel NJT's system was flawed. Hopefully it will be addressed and this doesn't happen again.

I'm probably seeming harsh and "armchair quarterbacking". Unfortunately we're all having a tough time up here in North Jersey and maybe its easy to get frustrated right now with everything thats been going on. I hope NJT gets things back to normal, and I know given the circumstances they're doing all they can right now.
Last edited by MariusP on Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Steve F45
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Location: New Milford,NJ

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by Steve F45 »

newark isn't there operating center, its just the offices. Trains are run from the roc in kearny which was flooded.
could terminal tower have served as a backup dispatch center for all the lines?

Jersey_Mike
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by Jersey_Mike »

Thanks for telling us how to run a railroad, Mr. Railroad Employee!!!! If dispatchers were unavailable, like you say, who's going to issue the Form D's? Running over interlockings with no power requires the switches to be blocked and spiked, taking people away from repairing the hardest hit areas. You can't run push-pull service with 15 cars because the MU signal degrades after 12 cars. But hey, you obviously know more than those who work here, so thanks for coming in!
While dispatchers are unavailable at their computer workstations at ClubMed, the cell and landline phone networks are still largely functional (or if not then high frequency radio) so they can meet anywhere with a white board and implement a manual block system communicating with temporary block operators stationed at block limits. Yes, you would spike and wedge power operated points at affected interlockings, Amtrak has had to do this during several recent snow storms. The reduced capacity would be offset by using longer trains and combining the engines from multiple trainsets on the front to a pull-pull service with engine reversal at terminals or having extra engines live in tow on the rear to provide HEP and to pull the train in the opposite direction upon reaching the terminal.

It's lovely how quick you are to just throw up your hands in surrender instead of trying to think of ways to get service running. Railroads in China wouldn't have even stopped service during the storm. Go America and its can't do attitude.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

Any updates on the Kearny Connection (Swift), which apparently suffered a severe washout?
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

ryanov
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Location: Newark, NJ

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by ryanov »

MariusP wrote: That just doesn't make sense to me, that NJT doesn't have some sort of contingency for a failure in their Newark headquarters. It seems like they should, especially when Amtrak was perfectly able to run trains over the same tracks.
This is not accurate. I agree that they need a backup for the ROC (power in one building honestly should not cripple the whole railroad, and I don't need to be a railroader to know that -- I can excuse them though on the amount of money they probably have to make do with). However, Amtrak was only running over those rails maybe one evening earlier than NJT, and it's conceivable they asked NJT to wait until the next morning anyway. NJT is running service fine on the NEC now, which is the only place they share tracks with Amtrak, even while their ROC power is out.
|=| R. Novosielski |=|

jamesinclair
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by jamesinclair »

Is saturday service into manhattan on a standard saturday schedule on the NEC?

M&Eman
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by M&Eman »

jamesinclair wrote:Is saturday service into manhattan on a standard saturday schedule on the NEC?
The schedule is close to standard. No Rahway Rockets. There are also a few additional peak period/direction trains to Trenton as they are using the same schedule they used on Friday.
"The Erie only sells 1 way tickets on the NJ&NY because it only has a 99 year lease on the line."

jamesinclair
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by jamesinclair »

Excellent, thanks

25Hz
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by 25Hz »

jamesinclair wrote:Excellent, thanks
Did your friend find her way?

Folks, no one knew this would be the outcome of this storm. Lets focus on getting service back vs throwing blame or making inflammatory comments. Once we get service restored then we can talk about prevention for next time. /rant
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

boomerjdpeters
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by boomerjdpeters »

CSX learned their lesson after consolidating dispatchers at Jacksonville FL, a hurricance prone location, and have since reverted back to division dispatcher locations (Baltimore for one) I understand the emergency generator for ROC was not located high enough to avoid water damage. Also interlockings can be operated by local control (at site by signal maintainers or operators) Who remembers when CNJ dispatched out of RA Tower, Raritan?

pateljones
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by pateljones »

Will there be any Montclair/Boonton service on Monday? I saw trains stored in the yard near MSU yesterday.

acelaphillies
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Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by acelaphillies »

25Hz wrote:Folks, no one knew this would be the outcome of this storm. Lets focus on getting service back vs throwing blame or making inflammatory comments. Once we get service restored then we can talk about prevention for next time. /rant
Thank you. That needed to be said.

vfrex
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:00 am

Re: Hurricane Sandy (issues and recovery time)

Post by vfrex »

Considering NJ has been hit by a hurricane 2 years in a row now, I don't see how talking about prevention is too soon / outlandish.

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