Heat impacting train travel

July 7, 2010 4:48:55 PM PDT
Extreme heat slowed trains on the Northeast corridor for a second straight day. NJ Transit reported that trains were delayed 30 minutes in both directions on its North Jersey Coast Line Wednesday evening due to an earlier problem in closing a movable bridge near Red Bank.

But there was no repeat of the heat-related locomotive breakdowns that caused widespread delays and cancellations of service on Tuesday.

Trenton hit 100 degrees at noon Wednesday, breaking a record that stood since 1993. The temperature also hit 100 in Newark for a fourth straight day. Atlantic City's high of 98 tied a 1986 record. By 5 p.m., temperatures in both Newark and Atlantic City backed down to 90.

NJ Transit volunteers handed out thousands of bottles of water to commuters waiting for trains at New York Penn Station, Newark Penn Station and Hoboken.

"We're doing pretty good. We've gone from canceling trains to handing out water," said spokesman Dan Stessel.

On Tuesday, more than 1,000 passengers got stuck on a New Jersey Transit train just outside the Elizabeth station. There was no power or air conditioning, and some people had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

Amtrak is also taking special precautions to keep the trains running and its passengers cool during the heat wave.

The railroad's hot weather plan for trains on the Northeast Corridor focuses on helping passengers in the event of a train breakdown or loss of air conditioning.

All trains will be stocked with extra water and beverages.

Rescue locomotives are positioned every 30 to 50 miles in case of emergency. Also, mechanics will be riding trains to troubleshoot problems.

Amtrak says passengers should expect delays on Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington, D.C, as a result of a reduction in normal operating speeds.

The delays will affect Amtrak's Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Vermonter services. In addition, various commuter operators which operate on track owned by Amtrak may also be impacted by reduced speeds.



New Jersey Transit