TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Amtrak could prevent NJ TRANSIT trains from using its tracks between Trenton and New York if the transit agency doesn’t finish installing positive train control.

Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson told a House subcommittee on Thursday Amtrak is worried passengers are being put at risk by delays in installing the technology that’s designed to prevent crashes.

“It is going to be very difficult for us to allow anybody to operate on the railroad we host without PTC,” Anderson said.

NJ TRANSIT is far behind on meeting the Dec. 31 federal government deadline to have PTC built and operational.

In a filing to federal regulators this week, NJ TRANSIT reported that through December, the braking system had only been installed in 35 of 440 locomotives and on none of 11 track segments.

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said last month that measures were being taken to meet the deadline.

The question is whether Amtrak would actually follow through on the threat which would mean keeping NJT trains off Amtrak property in 2019, including the Hudson River tunnels and Penn Station, or if this is an attempt by Amtrak to scare up more funding for rail, WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system with more than 200 million passenger trips annually on its trains, buses and light rail.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. Bob Reuter says:

    MARC is equipped and I think SEPTA will be ready. not sure about MN or MBTA further North.

  2. DP Drews says:

    With a strong backlash nationwide to not shut down routes save for the NEC based solely on profit, Trump’s man has found a way to cancel Amtrak by 2019: demand a strict PTC installation deadline. And not just Amtrak, but local service as well.

    Perhaps if Trump could stick his head out the window of his limousine long enough, he’s notice the bad driving and gridlock on our highways. Removing steering wheels and accelerators with automated driving systems would MAGA better than eliminating Amtrak.

    BTW, to make long-distance routes profitable, we need more trains on the routes, not one or two a day. And if the freight companies would have shorter trains to accommodate the faster and shorter Amtrak trains, that would be even better.

  3. Anton Mikofsky says:

    Is this more legacy of Chris Christie?

    1. Ron Troy says:

      Good question. Underfunded badly managed agency? Of course, if NJT can get PTC installed in all active locos (and MU’s) and tested by the deadline – even though PTC doesn’t work anywhere else in NJT trackage), would Amtrak have an issue? Only asking because I’m guessing that getting the locos done is probably faster then the tracks. BTW, same question for LIRR, though in recent days at least one PTC equipped train was seen being out east on Long Island. But hey, LIRR is so messed up that they could finish the work and forget to tell anyone.

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