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Reader Raises Safety Concerns Over Ridgewood Train Station Parking Lot

Ridgewood Trainstation_theridgewoodblog

For those of Us Taxpayers who use or are there every work day in that RIDGEWOOD station Parking Lot
dropping or picking up train Passengers especially in Fall /Winter seasons ,it is maxed out especially as trains discharge and the driver scramble to be able to leave quickly including riders running to their cars…Its a zoo free for all…it is maxed out capacity and safety wise ,,drivers backing out of spaces in the Dark racing to exit the station ,,idling
while waiting to exit the station into the bottleneck exit while passenger pedestrians are trying to safely leave the station ..all at the same time.We don’t need more compact
cars up there to add to the smells like a money grab and chance to spend over 300,000K for added compact cars at the station while we are on the hook for a raised garage to the tune of 12 Million dollars being erected on the northbound side of the station where NYC arriving trains arrive . Think safety and congestion in the dark and snowy seasons .Leave the station alone or modify the idling policy for uber and commercial vehicles .This could save a life especially in the Dark morning and evening
seasons .

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NJT Apologizes for the Mess

penn station njt

April 25, 2017

Dear Valued Customer,

First, I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding during the recent and ongoing delays to your train service, especially traveling in and out of Penn Station New York.

These delays have caused considerable frustration, inconvenience and stress for many of you as you travel to work, appointments, events and then back home. Traveling on NJ TRANSIT should be the easy part of your day, not the most challenging.

We share your frustration and are committed to earning back your trust. I personally met with Amtrak’s CEO recently to discuss the importance of NJ TRANSIT having a voice at the table around prioritization of track and other maintenance, tunnel evacuation protocols, customer flow at Penn Station New York among other topics. These issues are important to NJ TRANSIT, have a direct impact on you our customers, and must be addressed.

If you have experienced delays that have compromised your work situation, please stop by one of our Customer Service offices and pick up a delay letter for your employer. You also can obtain a letter by visiting our website and clicking here to access our Contact Us form on the website.

I will work every day to ensure that we do everything we can to improve your trip, and sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you, your families and fellow commuters may have experienced in recent days.

Thank you for remaining a loyal NJ TRANSIT customer.

Steven H. Santoro
Executive Director, NJ TRANSIT

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NJ TRANSIT Takes Steps to Implement Positive Train Control (PTC)


October 28,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT continues to advance its implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) in order to meet the 2018 deadline with the lease authorization of radio spectrum.  The approval of the lease authorization today by NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors allows NJ TRANSIT to execute a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for the last component of radio spectrum needed for NJ TRANSIT’s PTC system.

“This is another milestone in our commitment to upgrading our current safety systems to Positive Train Control by the federal deadline at the end of 2018,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steve Santoro.  “We are aggressively tackling the challenges posed as PTC is being designed, developed and deployed simultaneously.  Acquiring the needed radio spectrum was one of the larger hurdles which we have now crossed.”

NJ TRANSIT will lease the 218MHz radio frequency spectrum from the MTA for a period of 50-years, at a total cost not to exceed $725,000.  The authorization will allow for the acquisition of the needed spectrum for the northern and eastern portions of NJ TRANSIT’s system.

The radio spectrum provides the wireless link which allows information to pass between the rail vehicles and wayside equipment, ensuring that the onboard PTC system is getting the most accurate and up to date safety data.  NJ TRANSIT must have its own radio bandwidth or spectrum so transmissions do not overlap or interfere with any others in the region.

In April 2016, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors authorized the purchase of radio frequency spectrum from PTC-220, LLC for the southern, central and western portions of the NJ TRANSIT system.

In addition to acquiring the needed radio frequency spectrum, NJ TRANSIT is also in the process of securing the hardware and software components of the PTC system including thousands of transponders and 124 radio “towers” along 326 route miles in addition to the radios and antenna equipment for 440 locomotives, EMUs and cab cars.

Positive Train Control is a federally mandated train control technology designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into work zone limits and train movements across switches in the wrong position.  As part of that requirement, the PTC systems must maintain interoperability between commuter rail, freight and Amtrak trains and their associated wayside components.

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NTSB: Preliminary Report on Investigation of Hoboken Train Accident Released

Hoboken Train Station Crash


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  The National Transportation Safety Board released Thursday its preliminary report on the investigation of the Sept. 29, 2016, accident involving New Jersey Transit train 1614 at the Hoboken Terminal, Hoboken, New Jersey.

One person died and 110 more were injured when the 400-foot long train, which consisted of a controlling passenger car (cab car), three passenger cars and one locomotive at the rear, failed to stop, overrode a bumping post, and struck a wall of the terminal.

The preliminary report details factual information gained to date in the investigation.  It does not contain analysis and does not state probable cause.  The information contained within the preliminary report is subject to change as data is validated.

The NTSB investigator-in-charge formed the following technical groups to gather information and evidence for the investigation:

Human Performance
Survival Factors
Signal Systems
Track and Engineering
Event/Video Data Recorders

Both the engineer and conductor were interviewed by NTSB investigators.  The emergency response to the accident is being reviewed by investigators as are records for operations, signal systems, mechanical equipment and track and engineering.  Investigators inspected the track structure, signal system and mechanical equipment involved in the accident.

Investigators tested the signal and train control system; the accident route was duplicated with signal alignment and functioned as designed.  The signal system was restored to service with the exception of the damaged signal at the end of track 5, the track upon which the accident happened.

NTSB investigators found the cab car’s electrical communication network – necessary for brake, signal, and propulsion control – was destroyed in the accident.  Conversely, accident damage to the cab car’s air brake system was minor and was repaired for testing.  The train brakes functioned as designed during a friction brake test using the rear locomotive to apply the brakes.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Railroad Administration, New Jersey Transit, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division and Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.

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New Jersey Transit thanks Commuters for their Patience

Ridgewood Train Stataion

October 6,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey Transit would like you to knowWe are grateful to all of our customers for your patience and support during this difficult time.

Nearly one week ago, tragedy struck at Hoboken Terminal when one of our customers lost her life following a devastating train accident. No words can adequately express our sincere condolences to the family of Mrs. Fabiola Bittar de Kroon and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the injured onboard Pascack Valley Line Train #1614.

We know this is not an optimal commuting environment and that many of our customers have experienced longer wait times and overcrowding due to the ongoing circumstances.

As work progresses to stabilize and secure Hoboken Terminal, we have redoubled our efforts to provide parallel service across multiple modes to address the needs of those who utilize the station either as point of origin or terminus or as a pass through to other transportation outlets.

The loss of track space at Hoboken Terminal has had the greatest impact on our scheduling and is a key contributor to the crowded conditions our customers are experiencing.  NJ TRANSIT employees are working non-stop to return Hoboken Terminal to service for our commuter rail customers.

To provide you with options, an alternate service plan is available and can be found on our website at The alternate service plan is updated in the afternoon for the following days commute.

Additional trains and shuttle bus service have been added. Schedules have also been adjusted to reflect a more realistic timetable given the temporary limitations of the system.

Again, during peak travel (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) the system is experiencing overcrowding. To address this condition, we have had trains and buses on certain lines (Main, Bergen, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis, and Montclair-Boonton and North Jersey bus routes) functioning in a “skip stop” fashion. This means as we become aware of overcrowding at stations and stops further down a route, when we can, we send an additional bus or train to fill in behind those vehicles that passed by regularly scheduled stops.

Again, we know these are trying times and we are striving to provide as much service as possible in a safe and efficient manner. Our efforts remain focused on restoring regular service across our system as soon as we are able with safety at the forefront. We encourage our customers to refer to our website for additional information or contact our customer service office at 973-275-5555 (Operator-assisted 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.).


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Gov. Christie On Train Crash: Don’t Jump To Conclusions, Let Facts Lead You To The Proper Conclusion

Hoboken Train Station Crash

September 30,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, full transcript of Governor Christie addressing yesterdays train crash in Hoboken.

Governor Christie: “ Good afternoon. I’m pleased to be joined here today by Lieutenant Governor Guadagno, by my partner in New York, Governor Cuomo. Governor Cuomo and I have just taken a tour of the damage inside. Obviously an extraordinary tragedy. We pray for the family of the one fatality that we have confirmed for her and for her family. We now have a revised total of injured. We have 108 injured in this accident and all of those have been evacuated to local hospitals, where they’re receiving the care they need. We pray for their recovery. The engineer who was operating the train was also critically injured. He is at a local hospital and cooperating with law enforcement officials in the investigation. What we know is that this train came in at a high rate of speed into the station and crashed through all of the barriers bringing it right to the interior wall of the Hoboken Terminal. Extraordinary reaction from local law enforcement and EMS along with civilian passengers, who assisted EMS, and local police and State Police in evacuating the trains as quickly as possible and helping with the triage of the passengers who were injured and getting them immediately to local hospitals for them to receive health care. There will be others who will speak today about some of the specifics, Commissioner Hammer, Mr. Prendergast from the MTA, about the specifics of commuting both this afternoon and tomorrow. We won’t address that specifically. Both Governor Cuomo and I come from a law enforcement background, as does the Lieutenant Governor. My admonition when I was U.S. Attorney all the time to my prosecutors and agents was, don’t jump to conclusions, let the facts lead you to the proper conclusions, and so we’re not going to speculate about the cause of the accident. It is that we’re in the midst of an investigation. I was called by the White House today as well. They have not only dispatched the NTSB and the Federal Railway Administration but also have pledged any resources that we need additionally to deal with the victims or to deal with what’s happened here at the Hoboken Terminal. We were pleased to get that call. As I said to a number of you earlier today, from the time that the incident happened this morning, Governor Cuomo and I have been in communication since the train began its journey today in the state of New York and we have a number of New York citizens who were on that train as well coming here to New Jersey, and so we’re going to work together to make sure that the investigation is seamless and coordinated, that we come to a conclusion as quickly as possible and then if there are steps that need to be taken thereafter to provide for even greater assurance of safety for the people of our states, you can be assured that we’ll work together through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, MTA and New Jersey Transit to make sure that that occurs. And so we again, we pray for the victims and their families. We are on the scene. We’re going to continue to monitor what’s going on. We have engineers that are examining the structural integrity of the building now. We have no estimate as to when the terminal will be able to be reopened, except to say that it appears that the PATH terminal, the structural integrity there is fine and so that PATH trains will be able to use the terminal. As for the New Jersey Transit portion, we don’t have an estimate yet on that and we’re going to need some time to do that, so I want to turn this over to Governor Cuomo. We will also have Commissioner Hammer and MTA director Prendergast to make some comments and then Governor Cuomo, and I will come back to take on-topic questions.”