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November 19, 2007

NEWARK, NJ — Responding to community noise concerns, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles today announced that NJ TRANSIT would move to a new policy that will significantly reduce the historic practice of diesel locomotive idling effective January 1, 2008.

Earlier this year, NJ TRANSIT ended locomotive idling above 40 degrees, but is expanding the policy to include temperatures down to zero degrees to further reduce noise, diesel fuel consumption and emissions.

"NJ TRANSIT is acting as a good corporate citizen and neighbor to implement Governor Corzine’s conservation goals, while maintaining the reliability train riders expect and deserve," said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

"Our new policy of turning off our locomotives to reduce idling will mean quieter rail yards and an improved quality of life for the communities we serve," Executive Director Sarles said.

NJ TRANSIT has worked over the last six months to upgrade locomotive equipment and rail yard infrastructure to allow for the locomotive shutdowns. More than 100 diesel locomotives have been retrofitted with new starters, block heaters and batteries, and new external—or "wayside"— power stations have been installed in rail yards to enable maintenance work to continue, even with engines turned off.

The guidelines are in place for Raritan, Port Morris, Bay Head, Port Jervis, Spring Valley and Suffern yards.

The benefits of the new procedure will be especially noticeable in the overnight hours when more locomotives lay over in rail yards. While the new procedures will significantly reduce noise, residents near NJ TRANSIT may still notice some level of activity as trains arrive and depart the yard, and during short layovers.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 865,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.