NJT is no different than every other railroad that caught the "eggs all in one basket" fad back in the 90s. The big guys learned that it isn't necessarily a great idea as you said Ryanov, one thing can cause the house of cards to collapse. But in a bigger sense, NJT doesn't cover THAT much territory. Gotta be realistic to how much redundancy is actually needed and practical. NJT had all its eggs in one basket basically since Hoboken became the dispatching center in the 80s. Sure there were a few more towers back then, but the main dispatchers were in Hoboken. Moving to the ROC was a step up in reliability as the ROC is built VERY strongly and has back up systems there. The biggest problem they have been having has been the generators as far as I know, which they aren't the only ones, as lots of places have been having problems with their generators because of the storm. I don't know if the ROC can be "plugged in" to a diesel loco for power, but even so, that probably wouldnt work because of the damage incurred there anyway and the loco would have been damaged, and many are.
Again, there is back up as every single interlocking can be controlled locally (like the old days) by C and S fellas. But you need radio communications to do that. I don't know if the radio system was affected as well by the storm, but it could have been (its been cranky anyway lately so it might have been more cranky). And you need a lot of bodies to be stationed at each of the interlockings as well. And then its a matter of are those talents being used to the best of their ability, sitting inside a hut manning a dead interlocking, or should they be out on the railroad trying fix it.
If NJT built a "ROC-2" (haha) somewhere on high ground, lets say.....Summit. Folks would be saying that it would be a total waste of money to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a building that might get used once in 10 or 20 years or even longer?
Sorry for my rant in my above, it was another long day and my nerves are shot.....but let me just put it this way. I had my own plan to prepare for the storm, and i put it in action. I looked at the weather reports, i saw the predicted storm surge in my area, and even gave a bit extra. (because those meterologists are always wrong!
) I spent 4 days preparing for the storm and moving and elevating my belongings. Just about everything I did was pretty much a waste as the storm, in particular the surge, was MUCH worse than anyone ever imagined. (had to be about 14-15 feet at my place) What I did and what happened to me is no different that what NJT did and what happened to them. Just a MUCH smaller scale. I have no problem discussing what can be done next time differently, and NJT will learn from its mistakes this time, just as the rest of us will, but lets just remember that again, this was hopefully a once in a lifetime storm, if not once in a several lifetime storm. But believe it or not, it could have easily been MUCH worse, if we got the rain with it....we got spared, believe it or not!
Central Valley, I think you are correct, I think its pretty much a test run for Monday.