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Hurricane Sandy update: NJ Transit to begin testing trains on Morris, Essex lines


New Jersey Transit expects to complete repairs and begin operating test trains on the Gladstone Branch of the Morris and Essex lines tomorrow.

The test trains are necessary to ensure all systems are operating properly and to remove rust buildup on the lines that can interfere with signaling, NJ Transit officials said in a prepared statement.

Also tomorrow, officials are expected to provide an update as to when the lines will resume service.

"While every NJ Transit rail line sustained damage as a result of [Hurricane] Sandy's wrath, the Gladstone line was particularly hard-hit, with the heavy damage and unique challenges making repairs more timely and more difficult," said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein.

During the storm, five 90-foot catenary poles snapped. Last week, new poles were installed, and this week, more than five miles of overhead wiring was installed along the Gladstone Branch.

Also, crews are finishing repairs to the line's signals, switches and other infrastructure.

When service is restored, NJ Transit plans to resume using electric trains for Midtown Direct service into New York City and diesel trains into Hoboken, N.J. Hoboken's Mason Supply power substation sustained significant damage and, as a result, only diesel-powered trains can navigate into the terminal, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/29/2012