New Jersey Transit: Dinky train service won’t resume until spring (or later)

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New Jersey Transit won’t restore service on the Dinky train line until an unspecified date in the second quarter of 2019, the agency announced today.

“The agency continues to address a continuing shortage of locomotive engineers, as well as equipment availability, as positive train control installations, maintenance inspections and testing continues,” reads a notice issued by New Jersey Transit.

Previously the federal government shutdown and equipment and staffing issues were reasons given for service not being restored this month. The original estimated date for service restoration that was given before the train service was cut off was Jan. 15.

“We recognize the impact that these service adjustments have had on our valued customers, particularly those who use our ACRL and Princeton Dinky services. Our goal is to begin restoring a service that remains reliable and predictable for customers as quickly as possible,” New Jersey Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said. “I share our customers’ frustration and thank them for their continued patience during this time. While service reliability has improved since January 1, that’s no consolation when it’s your train that is affected.”

Bus service will continue to replace the Dinky until the train service is restored. Princeton University students and commuters have complained about overcrowded buses and late buses. Click here for the official shuttle bus schedule information.

Even though train service will not resume until some time in April, May or June, the ten-percent discount offered on tickets and passes will end on Jan. 31.  The reduced fares began in November in recognition of the service impacts required to accommodate the accelerated installation of positive train control equipment on locomotives and cab control cars to meet the federal 2018 year-end milestone.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

5 Comments

  1. How can NJT officials justify charging full fare for less than full service? Why is NJT unable to give a more precise time for when service will resume? And why are public and university officials unable to get answers to these questions???

  2. I believe the University does subsidize the Dinky, and I find this delay appalling. The reasons given seem like a really lame excuse! Can’t the Municipal Council exercise SOME influence here??

  3. The University should subsidize NJT so engineers can be hired. They moved the Dinky. Now support it.

  4. Time to optimize the Dinky through a public-private partnership that will meet all trains at the Junction with minimum dwell time between arrival and departure of Dinky and NEC trains.

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