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NJ Transit resumes service on Gladstone branch

Monday, December 03, 2012

For the first time since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the mass transit system, service is up and running on all New Jersey Transit branches.

Diesel trains started rolling on the Gladstone branch of the Morris & Essex line early Monday, a milestone for the final commuter rail line that was still suspended after Sandy.

The agency says repairs were completed Friday, and test trains ran over the weekend. The test trains are used to make sure all systems are operating properly and to remove rust build-up on the lines.

Trains are running on a modified schedule between Gladstone and Hoboken, as well as between Gladstone and New York on a limited basis.

"This is a major milestone reached in our state's continuing, post-Sandy recovery," Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson said. "With the restoration of service on the Gladstone Branch, every one of our rail lines is now offering either limited or full service to our customers."

Officials say that as a result of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, five catenary (overhead wire) poles snapped during the storm. The poles, which exceed 90 feet in length, are custom-made and were installed late last week. More than five miles of overhead wiring was installed along the length of the Gladstone Branch, and crews removed the 49 trees that were on the tracks. The line's infrastructure, such as signals and switches, also had to be repaired.

When service is restored to the Gladstone Branch, NJ Transit will resume its Midtown Direct service into New York and diesel trains into Summit and Hoboken. Gladstone Branch service will include two Midtown Direct trains during the morning and evening peak periods, with four additional trains serving Summit and/or Hoboken during each peak period.

The Gladstone branch serves towns in Somerset County including Far Hills, Basking Ridge and Bernardsville.

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ONLINE: njtransit.com

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