Commuter safety advocates are calling for repairs and inspections of crumbling retaining walls along the New Jersey Transit train lines of Essex and Morris County. Large pieces of concrete fell off the retaining wall at the Summit station and hit two passenger train cars in September, and again in October. Commuter service had to be suspended for two days while the debris was removed from the tracks and emergency repairs were being made to the retaining wall.
The concrete retaining walls were considered a stroke of engineering genius when the railway was built in 1902, but the walls are now showing their age. Constant vibrations from passing trains over the past 114 years have loosened the concrete, especially at the Summit Station, and along the Roseville section of the track that runs through Newark. Safety officials fear that debris from the crumbling walls could land on the train tracks and cause a derailment, or result in injuries to passengers traveling on trains that are hit by falling concrete.
Improvements to Rail Stations
Officials at New Jersey Transit have responded to these incidents and to the concerns of advocacy leaders for the Lackawanna Commuter Coalition and the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers with reassurance that they are taking the matter seriously. A New Jersey Transit spokesperson assured concerned commuters and safety advocates that inspections along the Morris and Essex rail lines will be made every 30 days, with focus on the retaining walls in Summit and along other areas of decline, including Roseville.
New Jersey Transit also plans to reroute the Gladstone line in Summit so that commuter trains can continue to run while repairs are being made. Designs for new tracks and retaining walls along the Morris and Essex train lines are currently in development and will soon be implemented. Administrators are focused on making the commuter rail system safe for its passengers, while keeping service reliable.
An official for New Jersey Transit recently implied that the crumbling retaining walls are not the only crisis facing the aging railway. Original railway bridges are also showing signs of wear and need safety inspections and repairs. A lot of the current passenger trains and locomotives are due for replacement, and the present shortage of locomotive engineers is expected to continue for the next few years. New Jersey Transit is the third most-traveled commuter railroad system in the country, making safety inspections and repairs a top priority for the approximate 150,000 passengers that ride these trains each day.
New Jersey Train Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Those Injured in Rail AccidentsTrain accidents cause serious and often fatal injuries to those involved. If you or someone you know has been injured in a train accident or by debris at a train station, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the New Jersey train accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Red Bank, Edison, and Toms River, New Jersey offices serve clients throughout the state.