Grant To Include First-Of-Its-Kind, Innovative NJ TRANSITGRID

September 17, 2014

Trenton, NJ
– Continuing the Administration’s focus on rebuilding Sandy-impacted critical infrastructure in a stronger, more resilient manner, Governor Christie today announced NJ TRANSIT will receive $1.276 billion in federal monies to fund five projects designed to harden NJ TRANSIT’s infrastructure.

The federal funding was awarded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of a highly competitive regional competition that included 13 states vying for $3 billion in total available funding. The five projects, described below, enhance energy resilience and harden key NJ TRANSIT assets.

“I am pleased that New Jersey was so successful in securing these funds through the competitive grant process,” said Governor Christie. “These projects will meaningfully contribute to the resiliency and preparedness of our transportation system and create a significant number of jobs in our region.”

“These projects are absolutely critical to hardening our region’s transportation infrastructure against future extreme weather events while keeping our customers and economy on the move for decades to come,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.  “Receiving this money confirms that we are on the right track by placing an emphasis on resiliency and preparedness.  This funding will build a strong foundation in strengthening our transit system.”


Originally announced by Governor Christie and United States Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in August 2013, NJ TRANSITGRID will serve as a first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid capable of supplying highly-reliable power during storms or other times when the centralized power grid is compromised. 

NJ TRANSITGRID will incorporate renewable energy, distributed generation, and other technologies to provide resilient power to key NJ TRANSIT stations, maintenance facilities, bus garages, and other buildings.  Through a microgrid design, NJ TRANSITGRID will also provide resilient electric traction power to allow NJ TRANSIT trains on critical corridors, including portions of the Northeast Corridor, to continue to operate even when the traditional grid fails.  The award also includes the resilient hardening and raising of key substations, including AMTRAK’s Substations 41 and 42, which serve critical functions and will better allow the region’s transit network to withstand, and recover from, extreme weather events.  As part of the grant, NJ TRANSIT will purchase electric, non-revenue vehicles to maximize energy storage.

The design of NJ TRANSITGRID resulted through a unique “technology transfer” partnership led by the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, NJ TRANSIT, and the U.S. Department of Energy.  USDOE’s Sandia National Laboratories was charged with the conceptual design of the microgrid and that effort was also supported by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and other public and private stakeholders, including the Environmental Defense Fund.

NJ TRANSITGRID represents an important cornerstone of Governor Christie’s continuing commitment to ensure that energy resilience is addressed statewide and that critical public assets have access to resilient energy technologies.  In February 2014, Governor Christie announced the creation of a $200 million New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank to fund projects that would ensure a highly reliable power supply to critical public facilities such as water and wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, shelters, emergency response networks in the event the larger electrical grid fails.


The North Jersey Coast Line’s Raritan River Drawbridge sustained structural damage during Superstorm Sandy and service was suspended for three weeks while the structure was repositioned and the tracks reset to support train operations.  The grant will allow NJ TRANSIT to replace this one-hundred-year-old drawbridge with a far more resilient structure, thus enhancing the reliability of the North Jersey Coast Line.


During Sandy, Long Slip — a 2,000- ft. east-west penetration of the Hudson River into Hoboken Rail Yard— acted as a conduit for surge waters and contributed to the inundation of both Hoboken Terminal and its adjacent rail yard.  The subsequent damage caused a suspension of commuter rail, bus and light rail service as well as incapacitating the historic Terminal.  The project will fill the Long Slip to an elevation above the Federal Emergency Management Agency base flood elevation.  The project also includes construction on the filled area of six new tracks serving three high-level, ADA-accessible boarding platforms. The elevated position of these tracks and platforms will permit the rapid recovery of commuter rail services to and from Hoboken Yard—and its associated Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR), Port Authority Trans- Hudson (PATH), and ferry services—even while the main Yard infrastructure and equipment is taken out of service for an impending storm, or being restored following a storm event, allowing NJ TRANSIT to operate longer and recover more quickly from storm events.

NJ TRANSIT coordinated with the design team responsible for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s winning Rebuild by Design proposal to support flood mitigation opportunities in Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken.  The filling of Long Slip Canal contributes to the continuity of the Rebuild by Design team’s strategy of coastal defense (“resist”) along the waterfront to maximize the benefit of both flood protection efforts.


NJ TRANSIT will build a new Delco Lead and Service and Inspection Facility.  This project is focused on protecting equipment against functional damage resulting from wind or flooding, and facilitating the rapid resumption of service after storms have passed.  A key objective in this effort is the development of permanent safe haven storage for rail rolling stock. The Delco Lead Train Safe Haven Storage Service Restoration project (“Delco Lead”) accomplishes this objective.

The Delco Lead, which is strategically located along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), will provide resilient storage for 312 rail cars. The Service and Inspection Facility (S&I), which is included as part of the project, will facilitate the rapid return to service following a storm event. NJ TRANSIT is also, expanding County Yard, which is adjacent to the Delco Lead, to provide additional resilient storage for 132 rail cars. The two projects combined will have a resilient storage capacity of 444 rail cars in New Brunswick and North Brunswick.


The Train Controls infrastructure resiliency project aims to continue commuter and light rail line resiliency efforts for certain assets that while not damaged by Superstorm Sandy, remain vulnerable to storm events, including critical life-safety signal and communications systems.  Four of NJ TRANSIT’s ten commuter rail lines and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Line have been identified as having vulnerability to future storms; they lie in coastal and inland floodplains where storms would overtop the trackbed and potentially flood and damage critical signal, power and communications systems used to control train speed, switches and track choice, and following distances for safe operations.  The four rail lines targeted for hardening of these assets are the Main Line, the Bergen/Pascack lines and the Morris and Essex Lines in Kearny near its connection with the Northeast Corridor and the Meadows Maintenance Complex maintenance facility.