NEWARK — NJ Transit said engineers who took an "unscheduled absence," which forced the cancellation of dozens of trains on Monday, will face discipline.

Passengers await the train at Hamilton station
(Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Three dozen trains on the Morris & Essex Line, Montclair-Boonton, the North Jersey Coast Line and Northeast Corridor were simply posted as "not operating" without an explanation. Riders from the 35 trains were directed to take other trains, which ran crowded even on a Columbus Day holiday with lighter-than-normal ridership.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said that 20 engineers called out and are subject to discipline for violation of the attendance policy.

Many riders were upset that there were no explanation for the cancellations. Snyder said their priority is to let riders know what their options are to continue their trip in the event of a cancellation.

A similar action over the summer led to 58 trains being "combined" or canceled during a seven-day period in July.

“We are looking at all absences on those days, whether they be excused absence, whether they be unexcused absence, or would they be in the position to pick additional positions,” Executive Director Steven Santoro told legislators.

Santos said disciplinary action would also be taken against engineers who stayed home in July.

NJ Transit would did not respond to a message asking if they were, in fact, disciplined.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (NJ BLET) General Chairman James P. Brown told that only five engineers did not come to work on Monday and the other 15 were taking "compensated days," which is similar to a personal day.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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