file photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT is giving customers a new tool this season in the annual battle with Old Man Winter. When inclement weather limits train service, customers will be able to use new Severe Weather Schedules to clearly identify their travel options and keep moving through the snow and ice.
“In the midst of winter weather, visibility outside may be low, but we want our customers to have a clear picture of how much service we can safely operate and when their next train will be departing,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steven H. Santoro. “Our operations divisions statewide have prepared the transit system, equipment and facilities, and these Severe Weather Schedules allow our customers to be prepared as well.”
During severe weather events, or other emergency situations, NJ TRANSIT may need to operate a limited weekday rail schedule, which will be designated as “Severe Weather Schedule – Level 1” or “Severe Weather Schedule – Level 2.” Customers will be informed through MyTransit alerts, social media, NJ TRANSIT’s website and mobile app as well as broadcast and print media when a Severe Weather Schedule is implemented
“Severe Weather Schedule-Level 1” and “Severe Weather Schedule-Level 2” are now available for viewing, downloading and printing at njtransit.com. Printed severe weather schedules will be available December 7th at select stations, terminals and Customer Service offices.
Customers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Severe Weather Schedules in the event that conditions warrant their implementation.
Snow fighting supplies and equipment across the state are stocked and ready to be deployed as conditions warrant. NJ TRANSIT is busy inspecting and winterizing its infrastructure, equipment and stations to be in the best possible position to handle winter’s potential fury.
NJ TRANSIT Preparations for Winter Weather
Hundreds of rail cars and locomotives have been “winterized,” a process that includes checking onboard heating systems, ventilation, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components, as well as changing locomotive filters and fuel from a summer blend to a winter blend.
NJ TRANSIT’s preventative maintenance program also includes the inspection and winter maintenance of more than 750 switches and switch heaters, overhead wire systems, 12 moveable bridges and wayside power at storage yards and terminals.
Two jet-engine-powered snow blowers are available to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas. In addition, all locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear snow from the rails.
NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations has 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed.
In addition, our year-round tree trimming program proactively minimizes downed trees or limbs along the right-of-way and on our overhead electrical system, personnel are on standby to quickly respond to reports of trees or limbs that could damage overhead wires or prevent safe passage of trains. Our year-round tree trimming program is part of our preventative maintenance program.
Bus maintenance personnel have checked the heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems on NJ TRANSIT’s 2,200 buses.
Bus snow-fighting equipment has been readied and ice/snow-inhibiting supplies have been restocked for winter to keep 52 bus loops, terminals and lots cleared throughout the state.
NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations has 900 tons of bulk salt on standby statewide, with each of its 16 garages stocked with bag salt.
Light Rail Operations
Snowplows are ready to clear station platforms and park/ride lots.
Switch heaters have been tested throughout NJ TRANSIT’s three light rail systems.
Necessary supplies such as calcium chloride, snow shovels, and scrapers are available and strategically located on the system.
Snow blowers and backup generators have been checked to ensure they are in working order.
Subcontractors are under contract to assist work crews in clearing all light rail stations, walkways, and park/ride facilities.
Management staff for all three lines will be coordinating with local municipalities to discuss snow removal in the light rail’s downtown ‘street running’ territory.
Stations and Terminals
All rail stations equipped with heaters have been inspected to ensure that they are in proper working order.
All public address systems at rail stations and bus terminals have been inspected.
Before starting your trip, visit the Travel Alerts page at njtransit.com for up-to-the-minute service information. This information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555 or from broadcast traffic reports.
Customers are encouraged to sign up for the My Transit alert system on njtransit.com, which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone.
Allow extra time getting to and from your destination. Use extreme caution when walking on exposed sidewalks or station platforms and when boarding trains and buses.
Report slippery or unsafe conditions to bus operators, train crews or
NJ TRANSIT staff.
Listen closely to public address announcements at stations for late-breaking service information.