RAMSEY, N.J. — NJ Transit has no plans to close the Main Street train station despite pleas from the uncle of a man who died there last year, but state officials are working on possible safety improvements to what has been called the deadliest station in the country by some.
Tommy Ryan was struck and killed by a train at the station in June after he walked under a lowered gate and crossed over the tracks to get to the other side. Another man committed suicide near the station in September.
There are no plans to close the station, NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.
Main/Bergen Port Jervis Lines
Ryan said trains on the Main/Bergen-Port Jervis lines travel through the crossing and through downtown Ramsey excessively fast — at 70 miles per hour — sometimes.
State Department of Transportation (DOT) and NJ Transit officials outlined several possible safety improvements at the station that could be implemented. Those improvements include installing automatic vehicle and pedestrian gates, flashing LED lights, advanced warning signs, and new pavement markings.
The public was invited to comment on the proposed changes, which will be finalized early this year and work beginning in the spring or summer, said Steve Schapiro, communications director for the DOT. NJ Transit will be responsible for the work, which the DOT will pay for using federal funds.
Local officials said that Ryan’s death was preventable, as are many others because they occur when people disobey safety equipment and attempt to cross the tracks before a train arrives, Schapiro said.
“The public needs to be aware that the gates, signals and signage are there for their safety and the safety of the customers and crew members on board the train,” Schapiro said.