Aerial view of temporary substation in the foreground with existing substation in the background.

Meadows Maintenance Complex Supply Switching Station

The third largest bus, rail, and light-rail transit system in the U.S., NJ Transit provides 270 million passenger rides each year across a service area that covers 5,325 square miles. The safety and reliability of the NJ Transit rail fleet is maintained at the Meadows Maintenance Complex (MMC), one of the most energy-intensive of the agency’s facilities. As the rail fleet grows, the power infrastructure serving the MMC needed to be upgraded to keep pace with growing energy demand. As well, key facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy needed reconstruction to maintain service and improve system resiliency.

Gannett Fleming is providing design, engineering, and procurement services for the replacement of the Mason Substation, a facility considered the most important traction power substation facility in the NJ Transit system. The substation also provides 13 kV power to the maintenance yard, as well as to the NJ Transit Rail Operations Center, the command and control center for all train movements statewide. As a flow-through facility for power transmitted by PSE&G throughout northern New Jersey, the substation is also critical to the reliability of electric service across the region.

What We Did

The project involves replacing the existing Mason Substation with new state-of-the-art equipment and protection schemes. Substation design consists of a new 230 kV, four-bay, 12-breaker, gas insulated substation (GIS) enclosed in a new building. Besides requiring less space than air insulated substations, gas insulated facilities are less sensitive to the harmful effects of pollution, as well as salt, sand, and precipitation. Such resiliency is crucial for a facility located within 10 miles of the Atlantic coast. The design and creation of a temporary substation enabled the demolition of the existing facility and construction of the replacement without disrupting service.

The 230 kV system will also power a 55/27 kV traction power substation through five 230/55 kV transformers, providing adequate power for a 14.5-mile segment of the NJT Morris and Essex Lines. The protection and control system for this new station will use state-of-the-art relays and communication equipment to significantly improve reliability. Because ownership, operation, and maintenance of the substation is divided between PSE&G and NJ Transit, replacement design separates equipment based on which entity is responsible for it, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Key Features

  • Gas insulated substation enclosed in a building enhances system resiliency in coastal environment.
  • Five new transformers reduce power voltage for train operations.
  • All equipment and buildings to be installed above the 500-year floodplain to protect against major weather events.
  • Separated equipment facilitates efficient operations and maintenance by responsible entity.


  • Reliable 230 kV power for critical transit facility and control center.
  • Improved resiliency for coastal power infrastructure.
  • Upgraded protection schemes enhance system redundancy.




Kearny, N.J.



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