A NEW ERA OF MAINTENANCE
With the opening of the MMC, NJ Transit consolidated maintenance functions that previously were performed at seven work sites scattered throughout New Jersey and New York - among them the antiquated Elizabethport "E-port" Shops (built c.1901), Sunnyside, N.Y. (c.1911) and Hoboken (c.1910-1930) - in a centralized facility located adjacent to the major rail lines of two divisions. Work at the Elizabethport Shops and at Harrison Yard was completely phased out with the opening of the MMC, and work at Hoboken, Raritan, South Amboy and Sunnyside, N.Y., was scaled back signifi cantly. Staff levels from these locations were consolidated to the new facility. (NJ Transit maintains 13 other rail yards for train layover, turnaround servicing and daily inspection.)
The MMC eliminated the duplication of shops and reduced the miles and time associated with moving equipment between these different shops. Maintenance functions that were previously outsourced to vendors could instead be performed in-house, improving cost efficiency and turnover. The capabilities of the new facility translated to manpower, time and dollar savings for NJ Transit. For example, at the MMC, car hoists could now lift rail cars automatically, while previously it took four people to jack up a car so that it could be worked on. And with an electrical shop on site, NJ Transit staff could perform in-house work on electrical components. Prior to the opening of the MMC, this type of work was sent to vendors, which sometimes meant that repair of a component could take up to six weeks, whereas the same work at the MMC can be completed in a day or two at a fraction of the cost.
The centralized location of the MMC also greatly reduced deadhead time. Previously, just transporting a locomotive from Hoboken to Elizabethport for engine maintenance took one day, while the MMC cut the transportation time to 15 minutes. Generally, most locomotives and passenger cars are in and out of the facility within 24 hours.
INSIDE THE MMC
The MMC is composed of several buildings and a train yard that handle a broad range of maintenance and support functions:
- *Main Shop Building: The Main Shop Building is where major repairs, overhaul and inspection of rail cars and locomotives, repair and storage of components in a centralized stores facility and administrative functions are performed. Repair, overhaul and inspection are conducted on 13 tracks, and support shops include those for metal and woodworking, electric, battery, wheel/axle, truck, upholstery, electronics and air brake/ tread brake. The building also contains a testing laboratory, industrial engineering and quality control areas, training classrooms, locker rooms and a cafeteria.
- *Service and Inspection Building: This building is used for daily cleaning, inspection and servicing as well as minor repairs. It contains two tracks, each capable of holding a sevencar train and one locomotive. The building also contains a sand, lubricating oil and fuel dispensing system for locomotives.
- *Vehicle Shop Annex: The Vehicle Shop Annex is where rail equipment underframes undergo high-pressure washing and compressed air blowout before entering the Main Shop Building. The control tower, locker and restroom areas and administrative offi ces are also located here.
- *Locomotive Pre-Inspection Building: This small building serves to provide high-pressure truck washing and pre-inspection cleaning of locomotives.
- *Load Test Platform: The Load Test Platform is a covered platform designed specifically for load testing of locomotives, for testing both locomotives' push-pull capacity to determine the engine horsepower available to ensure maximum efficiency, as well as the generators, which provide power for lighting, heating and air conditioning.
- *Substation and Switching House: This building contains all of the electrical servicing equipment for the MMC.