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McKeon: Christie, Late to the Game, Deflects Blame on Ailing Rail Infrastructure

Assemblyman John F. McKeon on Thursday called on Gov. Christie to step up to the plate and recognize that eight years of neglect have taken its toll on New Jersey’s rail system after the Governor ordered NJ Transit to halt payments to Amtrak in light of Monday’s derailment.

As Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, McKeon has held joint hearings with the Senate to examine safety and infrastructure concerns throughout New Jersey Transit’s system after a deadly train crash in Hoboken last fall left more than 100 injured.

“Quite frankly, the Governor is a little late to the issue. If not for his shortsightedness, we’d be a year away from the opening of a new trans-Hudson tunnel at this point.

“While Amtrak may have committed some malfeasance that led to the recent spate of derailments, let’s not forget that NJ Transit has been largely underfunded for the last seven years, while commuters have been saddled with historic rate increases.

“Amtrak needs to step up to the plate, but the Governor also needs to assume responsibility too. He inherited one of the best rail systems in the country and is leaving us with one of the worst,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris).