HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – NJ Transit lines that connect New York Penn Station to Hackettstown and Trenton will receive safety improvements thanks to a $6.5 million federal grant from the Department of Transportation, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced Friday.
The $6,542,353 will grant will be used for positive train control, Gottheimer said.
“We appreciate this federal money which supports our efforts to install this safety enhancement on our railroad,” said NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “The grant will defray the incremental costs associated with installation of PTC on the new vehicles, covering 80% of the total costs.”
The total project to install PTC equipment on 33 multilevel cab cars will cost more than 8 million dollars, with NJ Transit contributing 20-percent. The funding was awarded under the Positive Train Control Systems Grants under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Opportunity (CRISI) Program.
The new Multilevel III vehicles will be equipped with PTC equipment, consistent with NJ TRANSIT’s focus on safety and to comply with federal regulations.
The grant comes as part of the FY18 Positive Train Control Grants under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program.
Positive train control is a technological system that is meant to prevent train crashes and accidents before they happen by automatically keeping the trains a safe distance away from each other and at a safe speed.
“This grant will go a long way to improving commuter and rail safety in Warren County and across northern New Jersey,” said Gottheimer. “The new positive train control system will help keep our trains moving on time and work to prevent the type of rail accidents in New Jersey that we’ve seen in our state and around the country in recent years. I am proud to claw back our federal tax dollars to make long overdue improvements to our infrastructure in North Jersey. Since I took office, we’ve clawed back 16% more federal dollars back into the Fifth District compared to previous years — an increase of $290 per household to help cut our property taxes and fight back against Moochers States, like Mississippi and Alabama.”
Gottheimer’s bipartisan FRA Safety Data Improvement Act, HR 4925, passed the House of Representatives in April with broad bipartisan support. The legislation, which was cosponsored by Republican Congressman Paul Mitchell (MI-10), passed by a unanimous vote.
The FRA Safety Data Improvement Act codifies safety accountability requirements to prevent shifting in standards from one Administration to the next. It requires a plan and the implementation of recommendations found in a report from the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General. The bipartisan legislation improves and standardizes reporting and training around railway accidents on railroads like Amtrak and NJ Transit. To ensure compliance, the Act also requires the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to update the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee annually on its progress.