Reports: NJT Didn’t Follow Its Own Storm Plan during Sandy

Following the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Transit has put more emphasis on flood-proofing its storage yards.  However, investigative reporting by WNYC and Karen Rouse of the Bergen County Record shows that the agency already had a plan in place to move equipment to higher ground in the event of such a storm, but did not follow this plan during Sandy.

Prepared 4 months before Sandy struck, the storm plan advised transferring commuter rail equipment to several upland sites.  What NJT ended up doing as Sandy bore down was not advocated anywhere in its plan: the agency relocated locomotives and railcars to a low-lying yard near water, resulting in millions of dollars of damage.

By contrast, The Record reported, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prepared, and followed, a more detailed storm-preparation plan, taking into account the effects of global warming.  The MTA moved much of its equipment to higher ground in advance of Sandy, and lost only 11 railcars as a result.