ISELIN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some NJ TRANSIT riders are left doing double takes at how the agency met the December 31st deadline to install Positive Train Control, after seeing the agency place passenger cars in front of the engine on some trains.

So why the bizarre appearance for some trains? NJ TRANSIT is placing cars with PTC ahead of locomotives that do not have it yet. Some riders are left frustrated after running to hop on the first passenger car only to find the doors are locked.

Still, most commuters CBS2 spoke with at Metropark in Iselin say they haven’t noticed it yet, but if it benefits them they’re thankful for the out-of-the-box thinking.

“If it’s a stopgap measure for the safety systems to work properly, I don’t mind,” Edison resident Alex Lin said.

NJ TRANSIT says they hope to reduce the number of trains cancelled because equipment isn’t available. Last year, 282 cab cars and locomotives were equipped with PTC. There are more than 150 others that need the federally mandated safety system installed in the next two years.

The agency says for safety and operational reasons, any car in front of a locomotive will remain empty. Riders can expect to see it on various lines as the agency continues to perform routine maintenance and required inspections.