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GOVERNOR MURPHY COMMEMORATES MILESTONE FOR LATEST CLASS OF NJ TRANSIT LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS

NJ TRANSIT Maintains Critical Training of Locomotive Engineers throughout Pandemic to Improve Safety and Reliability for Customers

January 5, 2021

ISELIN – Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti and NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett today recognized NJ TRANSIT’s latest Locomotive Engineer Training Class for completing their formal classroom training and passing the Northeast Operating Rules of Advisory Committee and physical characteristics exams. The class of 17 engineer trainees will complete their field training and begin their final check rides later this month. The trainees completed a rigorous 78-week long program and passed extensive testing, including a final exam of more than 800 questions.

This class will bring the total number of new engineers that have joined NJ TRANSIT since 2018 to 94 and the total active roster to 385. Over the past three years, NJ TRANSIT has initiated 11 locomotive engineer training classes —  compared to just ten classes in the previous seven years combined.

“Growing the ranks of our locomotive engineers is an integral part of our three-year effort to turn NJ TRANSIT around, improve on-time performance and responsiveness, and restore the faith of NJ TRANSIT’s customers,” said Governor Murphy. “We’re proving that with the right team, and the right dedication, we can once again make NJ TRANSIT a national model for safe, accessible, and well-run mass transit.”

“The graduation of another class of locomotive engineers is evidence of the commitment and investment the Murphy Administration continues to make in NJ TRANSIT,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “This class deserves special recognition for its commitment to the program during one of the most difficult periods of time in our state’s history. Their dedication is critical to NJ TRANSIT having the personnel we need to get our rail customers where they want to go, when they want to get there.”

“With this new class of soon-to-be graduates, NJ TRANSIT is fast-approaching a full roster of locomotive engineers,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “Once this class of locomotive engineers completes their final check rides, we will have added nearly 100 new locomotive engineers to our roster since 2018 – a long way from the eight years before then, when the agency lost a net 61 of these highly trained professionals. All of these new engineers help us achieve our number one goal: Better, more reliable service for our customers.”

“This new class of engineers means great things for New Jersey Transit’s rail customers,” said Senator Patrick Diegnan, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “This is a sign that NJ TRANSIT is moving in the right direction. Riders will be able to expect greater efficiency across the board thanks to this influx of new engineers.”

"This graduating class represents the next generation of locomotive engineers who will usher in a new era of NJ TRANSIT," said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. "With the addition of these skilled professionals, NJ TRANSIT will soon have the full roster of engineers it needs to improve reliability, accessibility and safety. Congratulations to the graduates for completing this rigorous training process, particularly while balancing the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic."

NJ TRANSIT’s current training strategy should return the Agency to a full complement of 390 plus engineers with the next graduating class in early spring of this year.