ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – NJ TRANSIT has accelerated the restoration of service on the Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) and Princeton Branch (Dinky), announcing that both rail services will resume on Sunday, May 12th. The new date is nearly two weeks ahead of the agency’s target date and fulfills the commitment to have these services operating prior to Memorial Day weekend.
“Our economy relies upon our residents getting where they need to go reliably and safely, and Governor Christie’s nearly decade-long mismanagement of NJ TRANSIT undermined the capacity of NJ TRANSIT to fulfill that responsibility,” said Governor Murphy. “That is why I’m so pleased to announce the early restoration of the NJ TRANSIT Atlantic City Rail Line and the Princeton Branch Dinky Line, which will allow our commuters to get to work, school, and back again, free of disruption. I applaud NJ TRANSIT’s leadership for their efforts to improve safety and restore service. Our residents and commuters deserve nothing less.”
“The importance of these rail lines was made abundantly clear during our town hall meetings. The needs of our customers remain our highest priority. I am pleased that we were able to restore reliable services to these regions ahead of schedule,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
“I am pleased we are able to restore service sooner than projected. I know how critical these services are to those who rely on them,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “I did not want these rail lines to remain out of service for a minute longer than necessary, and I’m grateful that we’re able to resume service nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. I want to acknowledge our employees’ hard work that made this possible, and thank our customers for their patience while we were able to successfully meet our interim 2018 Positive Train Control (PTC) requirements and complete necessary track replacement work on the ACRL.”
As part of an effort to provide more reliable and frequent service for Atlantic City area commuters, the ACRL will resume with an improved schedule to better match service with customer demand. In response to customer feedback gained through NJ TRANSIT’s listening tour and enhanced customer focus, the new schedule includes an adjustment to a weekday a.m. peak period roundtrip which fills a gap in arrivals at Philadelphia 30th St. Station during the morning rush hour. The Agency will now offer five trains that arrive in Philadelphia prior to noon, up from three, and reduce wait times between trains to a maximum of two hours throughout the service day. Similar adjustments have been made to the weekend schedule.
Princeton Branch (Dinky) service will resume with a schedule similar to its previous operation prior to the temporary suspension.
Full schedule for the Atlantic City Rail Line:
Full schedule for the Princeton Branch (Dinky).
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: In advance of both the ACRL and Dinky resumption dates, test trains and rail equipment will begin to operate on the tracks. The NJ TRANSIT Office of System Safety (OSS) urges the public to stay alert, remain cognizant that railroad equipment can operate at any time, in any direction and at various speeds. Pedestrians and vehicles should only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings, while paying attention to crossing gates, lights and bells that warn of the potential presence of a train or other railroad equipment.
During the temporary suspension on the ACRL to meet the 2018 year-end federal PTC requirements, NJ TRANSIT installed 266 transponders, 17 poles, 20 wayside interface units, and nearly 60 miles of ground based network, including fiber optic cable to link all signal bungalows. NJ TRANSIT also utilized the temporary suspension to perform state-of-good repair work on the ACRL by replacing 7.5 miles of track. While NJ TRANSIT was at just 12% PTC completion in early 2018, the agency was able to meet this critical safety milestone in December 2018 to qualify for an alternative schedule for the remainder of the PTC installation process. NJ TRANSIT now has until the end of 2020 to ensure its PTC system is fully functional.