Despite past flooding, SEPTA says it didn’t think train cars in Trenton were at risk

The recent floods created by Hurricane Irene seriously damaged about a dozen SEPTA railcars in Trenton. Transit agency officials didn’t think they needed to worry.

SEPTA’s Richard Maloney says the agency didn’t move the railcars from Trenton because they were not thought to be at risk.

“We very carefully studied the history and the topography and the history of our whole 2,200 mile region, known areas of flooding, going back as far as SEPTA has been around and we had no record that the Assunpink Creek which none of us had ever heard of before had ever had significant problem at the Trenton Station,” said Maloney.

In 1999, Tropical Storm Floyd left four feet of water on the tracks in Trenton. Maloney says SEPTA was caught off guard because more rain came than predicted.

“The forecast for this storm in terms of inches of rain was up to 10 inches and we had 15 inches of rain up there and 15 feet of water in that area,” he said.

Maloney says the train cars will be repaired, although there is no estimate of the total damage. New Jersey transit and Amtrak kept their train cars in a yard across the river in Morrisville.

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