Know those cloudy windows on NJ Transit trains? A fix is coming

NJ Transit is starting to see through the fog — the foggy train windows, that is.

After customers have complained for years about the dirty-looking state of the windows in multi-level train cars, the agency's committee focusing on customer service promised Friday to clear things up.

"We are aware of an issue with the windows on the multi-level rail cars which reduce their clarity," said Jim Sincaglia, senior vice president and general manager of rail operations at NJ Transit. "The issue is not so much one of window cleanliness, but pertains to a characteristic of the window material that causes it to become cloudy over time."

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A NJ Transit train on the Raritan Valley Line.
A NJ Transit train on the Raritan Valley Line.

Tweets and public comments at board meetings have surfaced over the years regarding the cloudy windows from frustrated passengers who can't see platform signs with the station names.

In November 2021, rider Bob Bicknell sarcastically tweeted, "The crystal clear view from @NJTRANSIT_NEC trains is without equal."

Sally Jane Gellert, chairwoman of the Lackawanna Coalition of riders, drew attention to this at the regular board meeting earlier this month, noting that riders with hearing loss or low vision rely on regular onboard announcements of the next stop and seeing station signs.

"When one of these systems fails, riders need visual cues, such as local building and platform signs. For that, one needs truly transparent windows," Gellert said. "Too often — especially on multi-level cars, but also on single-levels — windows are translucent at best."

Sincaglia said he heard her comment at the board meeting and his team is working on a fix.

"NJ Transit is currently developing a program to replace these windows," he said. "We understand how this issue can impact our customers’ travel experience and we appreciate everyone’s patience while we work to resolve this issue with the windows as quickly as we can."

This article originally appeared on NJ Transit's foggy train car windows to get cleared