Why NJ Transit shut train air-conditioning during heat wave
NJ Transit's decision to shut off its trains' air conditioners during portions of the heatwave left weekend commuters hot and bothered. Some passengers reported feeling as hot as 90 degrees in the cars.
NJ Transit said the reason for temporarily turning off the air conditioning was to protect and cool train equipment.
NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said that the trains cut the electrical power to passenger cars between trips. The power was turned back on just before passengers boarded.
"We were protecting our equipment between trips to ensure full weekend service during the extreme heatwave," Snyder said, adding that while the temperature is set to 75 there are several factors why both buses and trains will not maintain a constant temperature.
"Rail cars are constantly open and closed to pick up and drop off customers at station stops," Snyder said. "Also, the interiors temperature of a rail car, as well as a bus, is related to the number of people inside a bus. The ambient temperature of a rail car temperature fluctuates depending on the number of people that are inside."
She compared it to the interior of an automobile heating up quickly on a hot day.
"You get in it takes some time before the cabin is cool," Snyder said.
Snyder said heat also impacts key components of a train and its infrastructure, including the overhead wires, track, track over drawbridges, expanding metal on bridges making them harder to close.
NJ Transit also had to adjust its schedule on the North Jersey Coast Line at the last minute in order to accommodate the change in the schedule for the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.