NJ Transit Honors Its Original Rail Employees

New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJTRO) was founded as 1982 ended and 1983 began: the deadline that Congress had imposed for Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) to give up the local passenger trains that it had been running along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) that Amtrak had owned since 1976. NJ Transit’s rail component was founded at the same time as Metro-North was formed to serve New York City’s northern suburbs and part of Connecticut, and SEPTA Regional Rail was established to serve the same purpose in the Philadelphia area.

As part of its commemoration of NJT Rail’s 40th anniversary, the agency honored 28 railroad employees who were transferred to NJT after having worked for Conrail, some of whom had also worked for its predecessor roads: Penn Central, Erie-Lackawanna, and Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ).

The ceremony took place at the agency’s Board meeting on September 14. The proclamation honoring the “Forty-year Club” was presented by NJDOT Commissioner and NJT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJT CEO Kevin S. Corbett, and Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Rail Operations James A. Sincaglia. “Today, we recognize employees who have been instrumental to the success of NJ Transit’s rail operations over the past 40 years,” Corbett said. “Their long- term commitment and dedication has been a cornerstone of our work to provide safe and reliable rail service to our customers.”

The honorees represented a number of different crafts on the railroad. The most-senior was John Boyington, who started in 1967 as a block operator. The highest-ranking was Andrew Mercoglizno, who began his career with Penn Central in 1973, became a superintendent, and supervised the River Line, the diesel light-rail line between Trenton and Camden.

After the ceremony, the “Forty-year Club” members left the room to attend a reunion, amidst the sounds of applause and well-wishes from the

For additional coverage of this event, see NJTRO honors ’40-year Club,

reportedonSeptember15atwww.railwayage.com. A report on the history of the founding in 1983 of NJT Rail and the other railroads that were established at the same time can be found in the April 2023 issue of Railway Age magazine and on the Railway Age Web site.

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