That loud sound coming from state transportation offices Thursday was caused by the horns, bells and whistles of congratulation for NJ Transit’s finally having reached its full roster of locomotive engineers after years of limping by with a depleted lineup.
The full complement of engineers (393) comes after the completion of a 78-week program and 800-question test by the latest class of trainees, nine of them. Now going through final field training, the newly minted engineers will have their final check rides in the next few weeks. That brings to 103 the number of new engineers to have joined NJ Transit since 2018, when the Murphy administration focused on restoring the agency’s engineer ranks. A press release from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office Thursday noted that “Since 2018 when Governor Murphy took office, NJ Transit has graduated nine classes of locomotive engineers — more graduations than the previous five years combined.”
The next locomotive engineer training class is set to graduate in June.