NJT to Sandbag Critical Facilities

Exploring yet another technology to protect its Meadows Maintenance Facility rail yards in Kearny from possible flooding, NJ Transit has announced its latest effort: sandbags.  Not just any sandbags, these will be pentagon-shaped bags called “TrapBags,” sloped on angles to form a 6-foot-high protective dam around critical electrical facilities, according to reporting by Mike Frassinelli in the Star-Ledger (Sept. 13).  The dam will protect electrical substations and generators; they are a temporary measure while the electrical equipment is raised above anticipated flood levels, which will take 2 to 3 years to complete.  The half-million-dollar sandbag project involves 3100 linear feet of bags and a reported 43,000 tons of sand.  Still, the announcement of the project was another reminder that 87 rail cars and 17 locomotives damaged by flooding in Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, remain out of service.  Other initiatives by NJT to protect its equipment from future flooding include establishment of track sidings and new yards at flood-proof locations.