The NJ Transit ‘drunk’ train that will likely run on time this summer
NEWARK — As New Jersey Transit meets to finalize plans for this summer's New York Penn Station rehab project, one train that will likely be unaffected will be back.
According to its new schedule, NJ Transit will bring back its late-night train on the North Jersey Coast Line, which leaves Penn Station at 1 a.m. starting June 25 and runs daily, including weekends, through Sept. 9. The schedule for the late-night train — sometimes called the "drunk train" — requires a change of train in Long Branch to complete the run and arrive in Bay Head at 3:22 a.m.
Service to Monmouth Park will also be back for the summer every Friday starting June 9.
NJ Transit is scheduled to join the Long Island Rail Road for a meeting with Amtrak on Thursday, to present respective schedule plans for the summer in response to a preliminary plan by Amtrak that will cause 44 days of “continuous rail service curtailments” planned for July 7 through July 28, and again Aug. 4 through Aug. 28.
"A comprehensive service plan will be put into place that will maximize all alternative resources to keep our customers moving during this challenging time," NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro said in a message on NJ Transit's website.
Commuters seem resigned to a long, hot summer of delays on NJ Transit, according to New Jersey Commuters Action Network founder Michael Phelan.
"A large majority of riders say they'll suffer through the 44-day repair period if it ensures improved service over the summer months, where heat and track fires reek havoc on the system," Phelan told New Jersey 101.5. "They're just not confident that it will bring enough of an improvement, but at this point are willing to be optimistic. We have little choice."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.