Trains that layover in the yard are connected to a standby power source, resulting in fuel savings and lower noise levels. The train yard at the complex also contains a 100,000-gallon fuel tank.
The MMC also houses the Maintenance Activity Reporting System (MARS), a computerized system that generates work orders of maintenance tasks and tracks the history of vehicles and components, updating and storing up-to-date records of all stock both at the maintenance facility and throughout other work locations.
EXPANDING FOR THE FUTURE
As NJ Transit works to meet surging ridership demand, the rapid growth of rail operations has generated the need to maintain an expanded fleet. In August 2000, a study of rolling stock maintenance infrastructure identified several improvements needed to the existing maintenance facilities at the MMC to accommodate this growth.
NJ Transit is currently in the process of procuring new multilevel vehicles, electric locomotives, diesel-electric locomotives and diesel multiple unit rail cars to accommodate increased ridership demand and new services. The expanded, technologically advanced fleet of rolling stock and new regulatory requirements for vehicle inspections will place additional demands on the MMC.
Construction work on an MMC expansion project began in the fall of 2003. The various facility upgrades include the expansion of the center yard by six storage tracks, an inspection pit, a new train washer to replace the existing washer, a warehouse addition, a new component storage building and an expansion to the Service and Inspection Building. Other enhancements include the expansion of the car area and locomotive area of the Main Shop Building, construction of a new seven-track switching yard (including a new pit/pedestal track), extension of the catenary system and the installation of a wheel press, parts cleaner and heated lubricating oil in the Main Shop Building. The combined improvements will increase capacity to allow for continued efficient maintenance operations at the MMC.
The new bi-directional train washer, which has a catenary system and can wash both diesel and electric trains, allows NJ Transit to use its water reclamation system in a more efficient manner when washing trains. Previously, only diesel trains could be washed in the enclosed train washer. Electric trains were washed using an open washing system, and runoff water from rainy days would drain into the reclaim system and be treated unnecessarily.
Construction for the expansion project has been phased to allow for increased train storage capacity and servicing prior to the project's completion, anticipated for fall 2007.
What began as a solution to the problem of an obsolete, disconnected rail maintenance system has evolved over time to keep up with an expanding fleet and new technologies. Though NJ Transit was still a fl edgling transportation agency when the facility was planned, the thought and foresight that went into the design and equipment, and the ability of the rail operations work force to adjust to growing demands, has carried the agency well into the 21st century. As NJ Transit looks to the future and continues to adapt to the changing needs of its riding public, the MMC is sure to continue its evolution as a state-of-the art maintenance facility.