A strike by New Jersey Transit workers could cause a headache for freight railroads that use its tracks, potentially causing some disruption to service for rail customers along those routes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Norfolk Southern Corp., CSX Corp. and their wholly-owned subsidiary Conrail could face minor to moderate interruptions if they can’t run on NJ Transit’s tracks during a work stoppage, people familiar with the matter said. The Morristown & Erie Railway, a small freight carrier that depends heavily on NJ Transit’s network, could face more significant interruptions.
NJ Transit dispatchers who control signals and train movements on the railroad’s territory could effectively shut down those tracks if they didn’t show up for work. Employees could go on strike as soon as Sunday morning. NJ Transit is the nation’s third-busiest commuter railroad.
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Editors Insight: Every food and beverage company doing business in New Jersey and the greater metro Manhattan area needs to prepare for the worst. The problem is not confined to rail freight. If there is a transit strike, road traffic will be worse than normal in normally congested New Jersey/New York, impacting road deliveries for food and beverage haulers.
The NJ Transit advised commuters that bus service will be able to handle less than 40 percent of the people who use the trains. Officials said nearly 65,000 riders will pump 10,000 more cars per hour onto the roads within 25 miles of New York.
Based on reports to date, the labor negotiators have a long way to go to avert this problem. 3-9-16 By Elliot Maras