Hoboken Station 2-Plus Months from Electric Power

NJ Transit's Hoboken station won't have an interim substation for another 8 to 10 weeks, and a permanent one could take more than a year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Port Authority says it may take weeks until the Hoboken Terminal is open again after Hurricane Sandy. The PATH train station has prior experience with damage from a major storm 20 years ago.

    NJ Transit's Hoboken station will be without electrical power for at least another two months while an interim substation is being completed, executive director James Weinstein said Thursday at a board meeting in which he faced more public criticism for the agency's pre- and post-Sandy performance.

    The Hoboken station has been operating on generators since it reopened about a week after the Oct. 29 storm caused flooding from the Hudson River. Most trains that use the station run on diesel power, but the Gladstone branch, which normally runs on electric power, has had to use diesel since it resumed service last week.

    Sandy Floods the Hoboken PATH Station Through an Elevator Shaft

    [NY] Sandy Floods the Hoboken PATH Station Through an Elevator Shaft
    Watch dramatic video from the Hoboken PATH station after Sandy hit.

    That has meant service on the Gladstone and some of the other lines has been cut back to compensate.

    The electrical substation was destroyed by saltwater, which has necessitated a two-step process in which repairs are being made to the existing substation while designs are finalized for a new substation.

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    PATH trains will only operate on the Newark to World Trade Center line for the next two weekends. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the move is designed to give crews 48 hours of uninterrupted time to work on the restoration of the Hoboken line. News 4's Andrew Siff reports.

    The interim substation should be completed in eight to 10 weeks, but the permanent one could take more than a year, Weinstein said. He added that the new substation would be elevated above flood level.

    Many of the parts have to be manufactured specifically, Weinstein said.

    Sandy Floods Hoboken PATH Station Platform

    [NY] Sandy Floods Hoboken PATH Station Platform
    Watch dramatic video of flooding on the Hoboken PATH platform during Sandy.

    "These are not off-the-shelf items," he said. "You can't just call up the manufacturer and say, 'I'll have a substation 605-A.' They actually are unique and customized to the particular use. So it's going to take us some time."

    Weinstein was grilled Monday by members of the state Assembly Transportation Committee on his pre-storm decision to store rail cars in Hoboken and Kearny where they ultimately suffered $100 million in damage, and several speakers Thursday echoed those criticisms.

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    Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave a tour of the underground tracks Tuesday. Tracie Strahan reports.

    Others faulted NJ Transit for its post-storm efforts in communicating service outages and resumptions. Some said they had to rely on media outlets for information; others said posted information at stations was outdated weeks after the storm.

    "The impression was that NJ Transit was waiting until they had something happy to relate," Mount Tabor resident Patricia Winship told the board. "If you'd confided in us, we might have been sympathetic."

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    [NY] NJT Tests Tracks After Sandy
    In this NBC 4 New York exclusive, NJ Transit shows how they're testing their repaired tracks before service resumes along part of the the coast that's been shut down since Sandy, from Bayhead near Point Pleasant to Woodbridge. Brian Thompson reports.

    Weinstein conceded that the agency's communications were lacking.

    "We heard today that communications was something we could have done a lot better. That is clearly the case," he said. "When a lot of people don't have power, it's difficult to communicate, and we need to figure out a way to work around that."

    Weinstein told a Senate transportation subcommittee last week that it will take $100 million to repair or replace rail equipment, including rolling stock, and $300 million more to fix and replace track, wires, signaling, electrical substations and other equipment, as well as to cover the costs of supplemental bus and ferry service and lost revenue.

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