Work begins to protect Bay Head rail yard from storms

BAY HEAD, N.J. (AP) — A post-Superstorm Sandy project to protect a Jersey shore rail yard from future storms is under way.

NJ Transit says construction has begun on a project to harden its rail yard in Bay head at the end of the North Jersey Coast line. The facility was flooded by storm surge from the ocean just a few blocks away.

The work includes a new power substation encased in protective materials and elevated above anticipated storm surge and flooding levels.

The nearly $24 million project, funded by the Federal Transit Administration, replaces two existing Bay Head yard substations damaged during the 2012 storm.

Substations are essential to supplying electric power to overhead wires that power trains, as well as providing electricity to rail yard and equipment facility systems. Because of storm surge during Sandy, the electric components of substations in many parts of NJ Transit's service area were vulnerable to the corrosive effects of salt water.

Repairing impacted substations and related electrical distribution systems was central to the full restoration of operations following the storm. By including more resilient substations that are less likely to be damaged in a severe weather or other event, the agency says it can prevent or significantly reduce service disruptions during future storms.