Despite finishing PTC work, NJ Transit hasn’t said when Atlantic City trains will resume

The 3:38 p.m. Atlantic City Rail Line train to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia arrives in Lindenwold, N.J. Monday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

The 3:38 p.m. Atlantic City Rail Line train to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia arrives in Lindenwold, N.J. Monday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Work might be finished on New Jersey Transit’s Atlantic City Rail line, but service hasn’t been restored and it’s not clear when that will happen.

The line shut down in September for installation of positive train control, the automatic braking system that engages in emergency situations. NJ Transit rail service planners are now evaluating a schedule for restoring regular service to the Atlantic City Rail Line, the Princeton “Dinky” line and others, said spokesman Jim Smith.

“We are still intending to restore service as fast as possible, following the successful meeting of the end of year PTC installation deadline,” he said.

The trains and workers have been reassigned to help ease overcrowding in North Jersey, and buses are shuttling the approximate 2,000 commuters use the rail service daily.

NJ Transit is hurrying to meet a December 31 deadline for installing PTC on all its lines.  Congress had mandated all passenger train lines install PTC by the end of 2015. But once it became clear the vast majority of trains in the country would not be able to meet the deadline it was extended to 2018.  Despite this extension, NJ Transit has been rushing to get all the work done, modifying schedules and curtailing some service.

When it suspended service on the Atlantic City line, riders questioned whether this was the first step towards getting rid of the service entirely.  NJ Transit has insisted that is not its plan, and that service will resume.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.