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NJT Official On Sandy Recovery: Service Will Be ‘Close To 100 Percent’ Next Month

(credit: NJ TRANSIT)

NJ TRANSIT Sandy Damage – North Jersey Coast Line – Morgan Draw Bridge (credit: NJ TRANSIT)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – While NJ TRANSIT officials think service will be just about fully recovered next month from superstorm Sandy damage, there’s still a lot of work left.

“By March, we are aiming to get close to 100 percent,” NJ TRANSIT spokesman John Durso, Jr. told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Durso said it has been a long process to repair or replace flooded out cars that were stored at NJ TRANSIT’s rail yard in Kearny.

“Unfortunately, parts are on the floor, they’re at ground level and the rising saltwater that came in impacted many of them. We’re working with all of our manufacturers to bring in new parts,” said Durso. “In some cases, some of these parts actually needed to be manufactured from scratch.”

The transit agency is also running behind in its efforts to restore electric train service to Hoboken, which has been running slower diesel trains in the interim.

The rail yards at Kearny and Hoboken flooded in Sandy’s storm surge. As a result, nearly a third of NJ TRANSIT’s locomotives and a quarter of its rail passenger cars suffered storm damage at a cost of roughly $100 million, according to officials.

In total, 62 locomotives, and 261 rail cars, stored in the Meadows complex and in Hoboken during Sandy were water-damaged and out of commission, according to NJ TRANSIT.

Following Sandy, NJ TRANSIT officials were criticized for storing much of its fleet in low-lying areas. Officials defended the use of the rail yards, saying Sandy proved to be much worse than pre-storm models estimated.

How do you think NJ TRANSIT has done following Sandy? Sound off in the comments section below…