Ray Kenny, NJ Transit's chief of rail operations, succumbs to coronavirus
The leader of NJ Transit's rail operations has died from complications of the coronavirus, the agency said in a press release issued Saturday evening.
Raymond P. Kenny, senior vice president and general manager of rail operations, had run NJ Transit's rail lines since January 2019.
"Ray's reputation and experience in the industry are unparalleled," said NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett, who has also been diagnosed with coronavirus. "The leadership and incredible wealth of railroad knowledge Ray brought with him has truly made a positive impact on our organization. On behalf of everyone at NJ Transit, our thoughts and prayers are with Ray's family and friends at this difficult time."
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Kenny filled a yearlong void in the position and took over an operation plagued by a shortage of personnel and persistent service problems. In the years before his appointment, NJ Transit had lost a quarter of its senior management ranks to other railroads and retirement.
Kenny, who began his career on the Long Island Rail Road as a ticket clerk in 1970 and rose through the ranks, was working to rebuild the agency's rail staff, pushing through classes of engineers and conductors to operate the trains in the largest state-run transportation system in the country.
NJ Transit provides more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines and through its Access Link paratransit service.
Daniel Sforza is the executive editor of The Record and NorthJersey.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.