NJ Transit Board approves additional rail car purchase; names Sincaglia head of rail operations

Feb. 10, 2022
The additional rail cars from Alstom are part of the Portal North Bridge project.

The New Jersey Board of Directors approved the purchase of additional rail cars and named a new head of rail operations during its Feb. 9 meeting.

An additional 25 Multilevel III rail cars will be ordered as part of an option within New Jersey Transit’s (NJ Transit) existing contract with Alstom that was approved in December 2018 for 113 of the cars.

The additional cars will include five multilevel cab cars, 17 multilevel trailer cars and three multilevel trailer cars with restrooms.

“Early in our administration, it became clear that NJ Transit was in desperate need of new and refreshed rail equipment,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “The purchase of these rail cars reflects the commitment that we made to New Jersey commuters and is one of many steps that we are taking to provide NJ Transit customers with an improved and more reliable experience on the rails.”

The Multilevel III rail cars offer an 11 percent increase in seating capacity over NJ Transit’s existing single level cars that they will replace. The new cars have a maximum speed of 110 mph and will be compliant with the latest federal regulations, such as Positive Train Control. The new rail cars will also feature USB charging ports for customers and new, onboard information displays.

The 25 additional cars are being funded as part of the Portal North Bridge project and they will be added to nine existing multilevel peak hour trains. NJ Transit explains ordering these additional multilevel vehicles now minimizes the risk of delays from potential future supply chain issues, allowing for continuity of production.

James Sincaglia named head of rail operations

The NJ Board also appointed James Sincaglia to serve as the agency’s head of rail operations where he will oversee NJ Transit’s 11 lines and 164 stations.

Sincaglia has been with NJ Transit 26 years starting in the bus division in 1998 and working his way up to his most recent position of senior vice president and general manager of rail operations.

He transitioned from the bus division early in his career to become a train dispatcher, then becoming supervisor of train operations, manager of train operations and senior director of system operations. In October 2015, Sincaglia was named deputy general manager of transportation where he served until April 2020 when he was elevated to lead the railroad in an acting capacity following the death of Raymond Kenny from the coronavirus.

NJ Transit says Sincaglia’s leadership helped drive the successful implementation of the agency’s Positive Train Control project before the December 20, 2020, deadline. He has also overseen the full restoration of the agency’s depleted ranks of locomotive engineers, which has led to improved on-time performance for rail customers.

“We are fortunate to have Jim lead us during this exciting time at NJ Transit,” said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Jim has been instrumental in guiding us through some of the most innovative projects and industry-leading technological advances, including successfully meeting the Positive Train Control deadlines. I have full confidence in Jim’s ability to handle the challenges associated with keeping our rail system moving each day with our customers’ best interest in mind.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.