New Brunswick Storage Yard Advances

NJ Transit, in efforts to avoid equipment damage such as occurred with Hurricane Sandy, on January 8th approved engineering contracts for its plan to build and expand storage yards in the New Brunswick area, according to reporting by Mike Frassinelli in the Star-Ledger (January 9).  The Sandy disaster unfolded after NJT stored equipment in yards in Hoboken and the Jersey Meadows that proved vulnerable to storm-surge flooding; hundreds of cars and locomotives were damaged, and some have still not been repaired more than a year later.  The railroad had already activated plans to make safer storage locations available in Linden and Garwood.  The $7.64-million design and engineering contract will be for the County Yard, at the Jersey Avenue station south of New Brunswick, and the adjacent Mile Run Yard, not presently in service.  A recent report on the Sandy disaster, commissioned by NJT from the Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service, concluded that NJT needed better flood protection models to predict storm impact.  Critics have said that NJT ignored reports that forecast the flooding that took place, relying instead on overly optimistic forecasts.  Phil Craig of the NJ Association of Railroad Passengers called the Texas A&M report “a whitewash, pure and simple.”

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