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The Latest: Train cancellations may ease, ‘rough fall’ ahead

August 7, 2018

People head to trains at the New Jersey Transit station in Hoboken, N.J., as a departure board shows two canceled trains Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. A spate of recent train cancellations plaguing New Jersey Transit commuters is expected to ease before long, but a top official warned Tuesday that disruptions may continue through the end of the year as crews work to install a federally mandated emergency braking system. (AP Photo/David Boe)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the recent spate of service cancellations involving New Jersey Transit trains (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A spate of recent train cancellations plaguing New Jersey Transit commuters is expected to ease before long, but a top official says to prepare for a “rough fall.”

Executive Director Kevin Corbett says the cancellations are due to a shortage of engineers compounded by unscheduled absences.

Train crews also are working to finish installing a federally mandated emergency braking system by year’s end so that testing can be done to meet a December 2020 deadline extension.

Dozens of trains have been canceled in the last week, causing delays and overcrowding.

Corbett says the problems will ease once vacation season ends and nine new engineers come on board beginning this week, but that improvements will be gradual.

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1:10 p.m.

Several months after incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy vowed substantial reforms at New Jersey Transit, commuters are ready to revolt.

Dozens of last-minute train cancellations in recent days have caused havoc on a system that already experiences overcrowding and regular delays due to aging infrastructure.

NJ Transit says the cancellations are caused by engineer absences at a time when train crews also are being pulled off regular duty to test a federally mandated emergency braking system.

A spokesman for the engineers’ union didn’t immediately comment Tuesday.

After his election, Murphy, a Democrat, called NJ Transit “a national disgrace” and said he would make it a top priority to improve the system’s performance.

NJ Transit is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system.

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