MOM Rail Service

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MOM Rail Service

Postby northjerseybuff » Tue May 30, 2006 5:56 am

What are the scenarios for lines. From what I gather they're are 2 possible ones? What would be a list of stations on both lines. where would the end of each line be?
How far along are we with this project?
thanks
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Postby Tom V » Tue May 30, 2006 11:09 am

There are actually three proposed routes, all three originate in Lakehurst Ocean County and run North to Farmingdale in Monmouth County. From Farmingdale the line splits into two, one line runs North through Tinton Falls and Eatontown into Red Bank where it joins the NJCL.

The second line runs Northwest into Freehold Borough where the line again splits, one line goes North through Marlboro and into Matawan where it would join the NJCL. The Second line runs West from Freehold through Englishtown/Manalapan into Jamesburg/Monroe (Middlesex County) and connects with the Northeast Corridor in South Brunswick.

So the three choices are:

Lakehurst-Farmingdale-Red Bank
Lakehurst-Farmingdale-Matawan
Lakehurst-Farmingdale-South Brunswick

I live in Manalapan along the portion of MOM to South Brunswick, I've lived here and Marlboro almost all my life (30 years). I have followed this closely for a long time, living here for 30 years I've seen Western Monmouth County grow from a rural bedroom community to a very affluent and crowded Suburb.

Here's my take,

The Lakehurst-Red Bank route is the least favorable because it's too far from Western Monmouth County towns of Freehold, Manalapan, Marlboro and the whole Route 9 corridor which is the emphasis behind the MOM route. The Lakehurst-Red Bank route is also too close to the NJCL and Garden State Parkway, plus between Farmingdale and Red Bank the line runs through Monmouth County's Landfill, Earle Naval Weapons Station etc. Not alot of development near the line in that area, thats why they put the Landfill there.

The Lakehurst-Matawan route is better than the Lakehurst-Red Bank route because it serves Freehold, however living in the area I know the ROW very well and it's been encroached upon seriously by overdevelpment. Of the three proposed lines this route is the only one that is not active, the tracks were torn up decades ago and the route is now a bike trail, from a strictly geographical point of view this route looks like the best choice however when you look at the over development issue it's really not the best choice.

The best choice in my opionion being someone who has grown up here and would use the line is the Lakehurst-South Brunswick route.

Here's the key points for the South Brunswick route:

Serves all the major Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex population and employment centers. There's potential not just for trips to Newark/Hoboken/Manhattan but intra State trips to New Brunswick.

Serves Communities that have had their population double in the last 10 years, towns such as Freehold, Manalapan, Monroe, South Brunswick.

The only drawback is that the route travels West before traveling North, however the trip would travel a good portion of the route over the Northeast Corridor. If the train made express runs from South Brunswick to Newark Penn during rush hour the travel time of the South Brunswick line is very competitive to the other options via the NJCL.

Here's my take on where the station stops would be for MOM trains along the South Brunswick route.

Lakehurst-Lakewood-Howell/Farmingdale/Route 195- Freehold Township Route 33- Freehold Borough- Englishtown/Manalapan- Jamesburg/Monroe-Dayton/South Brunswick-New Brunswick-Newark Penn and perhaps Hoboken.

[/quote]
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Postby transit383 » Tue May 30, 2006 11:45 am

Tom V wrote:The Lakehurst-Red Bank route is the least favorable because it's too far from Western Monmouth County towns of Freehold, Manalapan, Marlboro and the whole Route 9 corridor which is the emphasis behind the MOM route. The Lakehurst-Red Bank route is also too close to the NJCL and Garden State Parkway, plus between Farmingdale and Red Bank the line runs through Monmouth County's Landfill, Earle Naval Weapons Station etc. Not alot of development near the line in that area, thats why they put the Landfill there.


Agreed that this line passes through pretty much the middle of nowhere. Not much development along the line, aside from some offices up in Eatontown. Competing roadways would be NJ-34 and CR-547, both of which aren't extremely heavily used and traffic isn't horrible on them (except for the southbound morning rush when you're sitting in the backups from the circle where NJ-33 splits from NJ-34 and CR-547 crosses over). Up towards Eatontown, this routing would also compete with the NJ-18 Freeway and that's a clear loss for the train.
But where were they going without ever knowing the way?
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Postby baju » Tue May 30, 2006 8:13 pm

Ive lived in monmouth county since 1955 when trains were still going to Trenton. I can see the demand for people going to northern NJ and NYC.
There is never any mention of trains going south to Trenton again. I commute on 195 and there is a large amount of traffic going to Trenton from Monmouth and Ocean counties (state workers I assume). Has any discusion of this possibility ever been brought up by njarp or any other group? I rode the train back in 1961 there were 2 passenger cars and all the seats were filled. The population today is probably 5 times what it was back then. I have a feeling that the demand is there today.
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Postby CJPat » Tue May 30, 2006 8:37 pm

Baju wrote: I commute on 195 and there is a large amount of traffic going to Trenton from Monmouth and Ocean counties (state workers I assume).


Is that why my wallet feels so light when I ride I-195? Because I am financing all those government drones riding alongside of me?

All kidding aside, It would be interesting to have something like the Sea Girt to Trenton line brought back. Unfortunately, that ship is probably sailed a looong time ago.
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Postby PRRTechFan » Tue May 30, 2006 9:50 pm

Tom V, your explanation of MOM routing was excellent. The Red Bank route would probably be the easiest to upgrade. The track is intact and I believe it still sees some freight service.

The Matawan route is the least intact and has seen massive residential development along the old ROW. While I think that the ROW might still be intact, that "massive" development is development after development after development of humongus multi-million dollar homes as close as 50 feet from the ROW. Can you hear the screams when somebody points to their back yards and says "railroad"; even though the railroad was there 100 years before the homes. <sigh>

The Monmouth Junction route is largely intact with existing rails to Freehold, although I do not know what condition that track is really in or the last time it saw a train. The worst section is from east of Freehold to Farmingdale. While all of the ROW is there, the roadbed and rails are either missing or buried and overgrown to the point of being invisible. Not terribly difficult to upgrade, but unable to take a work train or even a track car at this time.

I have always liked the Monmouth Junction route, for the same reason just mentioned by Baju (...hmmm, another participant from Manasquan; we must have, maybe three of us now?... :wink: ) and that is that it provides the possibility of much more convenient access west to Trenton from Central Jersey; and if Amtrak would just "get over" the legal issues, direct NJT access to Philadelphia again.

To travel west of Trenton via Amtrak requires either an NJCL trip to Newark, or to NYP if the Amtrak train originates there; or a ride/drive to Metropark, which isn't too bad. A train from here direct to Philadelphia, or even with a change at Monmouth Junction as long as it was convenient, could not help but attract more riders. When Tom V mentioned "Howell/Farmingdale/Route 195" as a possible station, something immediately struck home: I-195. Can you say "park and ride"...?

Although I have not found a definitive article or map from the era, I have reason to believe that the line once ended at Monmouth Junction in a "wye", allowing trains to travel to or from the branch from north or south. Only the connection to the north exists today, but looking at recent aerial maps leads me to believe the opposite side of the wye could easily be constructed.

Another thought to ponder is that the Monmouth Junction route does not cross the Raritan River bridge. In the event of an extensive bridge outage, at least some substitute service would be available to NJCL customers.

Why not refurbush both the Red Bank and Monmouth Junction routes? Operate trains in opposite directions with the two routes as a big loop? This would open up the Route 1 corridor stations to NJCL stations and vice-versa without ill-timed changes at Rahway. In the event of a Raritan River bridge outage, run trains down to Monmouth Jct, over to Farmingdale, up to Red Bank ending at South Amboy; and back. The Bay Head-Long Branch shuttle could be extended to Red Bank and an alternate Farmindale-Lakehurst shuttle when Lakehurst trains were temporarily routed back up to South Amboy. Seems to me there are plenty of possibilities to serve a lot more customers in Central Jersey in a greater number of ways, and hedge your bets for alternate or backup service as well.
CJPat wrote:It would be interesting to have something like the Sea Girt to Trenton line brought back. Unfortunately, that ship has probably sailed a looong time ago.
I couldn't agree more; that route runs behind my property. I screamed when it was ripped up, but to no avail.

I believe the ROW still exists, or mostly exists; from Farmingdale to the Frequency Engineering property, which was the last freight customer. The ROW from there through the edge of Allaire Park and Spring Meadow Golf Club should not be a problem, although the former bridge over the Parkway was replaced with a bicycle bridge. There are also now water and sewer trunk lines buried down the center of the old ROW. Do not know how compatible that would be rail traffic overhead. There may be some encroachment near the Allenwood General Store, but I believe the route is again good to Rt. 35 in Wall. There has been development along the ROW in Wall, but the ROW exists to North Main Street in Manasquan; it is in fact a bicycle trail. From North Main Street in Manasquan to the NJCL is where the route has been considerably blocked; probably about 10-12 homes and businesses right on or too close to the old ROW. Install a new at-grade crossing on Rt. 71 and cut a swath through the storage warehouses and/or the Lukoil gas station, and you have again reached the NJCL. Has the ship passed? Probably. While the route is unlikely, it is not yet absolutely impossible.
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NJ-ARP: True MOM serves New Brunswick.

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Wed May 31, 2006 9:10 am

With all respect to the breakdown and roundup of ideas (some excellent) vis a vis the MOM proposal, NJ-ARP -- MOM's author -- submits that there's only one "true" MOM. And it serves New Brunswick.

A "loop route" is fine by us in theory, as long as it doesn't preclude two-way service to and from New Brunswick from all MOM points. Bypass New Brunswick? Not if NJ-ARP can help it.

We'd also respectfully disagree with the contention that "no one" brings up Trenton or Philadelphia when discussing MOM. NJ-ARP does, at each and every street festival we attend in Middlesex County every summer. Say "no one official" and NJ-ARP might concur.

We say "might," because even New Jersey Transit is using "central Jersey access" as a reason to restore/resume some kind of Clocker service (run by NJT itself) to 30th Street Station Philadelphia. MOM actually might fit in nicely with that -- and it's remotely possible that NJ Transit actually sees that. If not, NJ-ARP will diplomatically point that out.
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Postby rhemler » Wed May 31, 2006 9:49 am

The Red Bank route would probably be the easiest to upgrade. The track is intact and I believe it still sees some freight service.


This route is still used by Conrail they run two weekly trains The trains for the most part goes all the way down to Lakehurst. Conrail also just finished doing tie replacement in the from lakehurt to lakewood.

I would like the to see the train end connecting somewhere on the NEC that would make the trip faster I would think cause of the high sppeds allowed on NEC and It would make it easier for people in the ocean county Area to commute to philadelphia. MAybe they could run an express to 30th street doing the rush hours I know alot of people that live in the Area that commute to philly each day
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Postby CJPat » Wed May 31, 2006 5:04 pm

After MOM gets established through to Monmouth Junction, how about adding a rail connectior south on the NEC to send trains to Trenton. The real answer would probably be a transfer at North Brunswick or Jersey Ave and then grab a train south.

If MOM does get built and they have trains travelling to atleast NWK, wouldn't they need to double track down Lakehurst to permit adequate quantity of trains? Waiting for a train to make a return trip would put the cyclic rate fairly low.
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Postby rhemler » Wed May 31, 2006 6:55 pm

I don't think double tracking to lakhurst is an option The cost wouldn't be worth the amount of people traveling. All they would have to worry about is from lakhurst to monmouth juction. I would asume that when the train gets to lakehurst the train going north would go. I am really not sure cause it would depend on the travel time between lakehurst and monmouth juction. They could also have the trains meet at a station where their is a siding.
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Postby jb9152 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:03 am

CJPat wrote:After MOM gets established through to Monmouth Junction, how about adding a rail connectior south on the NEC to send trains to Trenton. The real answer would probably be a transfer at North Brunswick or Jersey Ave and then grab a train south.

If MOM does get built and they have trains travelling to atleast NWK, wouldn't they need to double track down Lakehurst to permit adequate quantity of trains? Waiting for a train to make a return trip would put the cyclic rate fairly low.


I don't believe so, at least in the beginning. The headway would be about half hourly during the peaks; passing sidings could handle that.

For the future? Who knows? If ridership demands a reduction in headway (a BIG "if"), then double tracking might be a logical next step.
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Postby Eric Kreszl » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:38 am

I would Love to be able to ride on a commuter train down the Southern Secondary down to Lakehurst if this plan ever went through. My personal opinion is that they should use the Red Bank to Lakehurst portion because they could use Red bank Yard as a layover yard as I know they have got the room to expand. Also the advantage to that is they could run a shuttle train back and forth between the two locations. But thats just my opinion. :-D


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Postby Jtgshu » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:34 am

Article in todays (8/21) Asbury Park Press about the ridership statisticis and how they are almost completed, and what the next steps will be (hopefully)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl ... /608210325

Good to see progress, however slight, on MOM.
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Postby lensovet » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:22 pm

article:
AWAITING NEW STUDY
Progress on rail line being made on paper
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/21/06

BY LARRY HIGGS
STAFF WRITER

FREEHOLD — Monmouth County planning officials expect to have new ridership figures for the proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line by the end of the month and plan to meet with NJ Transit officials in mid-September.

A report by DMJM Harris, a transportation consultant that is part of AECOM Inc. of Arlington, Va., is expected by the end of August, and county officials hope to review those figures with NJ Transit, said Bonnie Goldschlag, assistant Monmouth County planning director.

"We're hoping by mid-September to have another meeting with NJ Transit and go over the new ridership numbers and hopefully get their buy-in," Goldschlag said.

The numbers for Monmouth and Ocean counties won't be released publicly until county and NJ Transit officials meet, she said.

"We want them to have an opportunity to look at them and respond," she said. "We want to see if they agree or disagree."

The new ridership studies include the three routes being considered for the line, through Red Bank, Matawan or the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, but it factors in a one-seat ride to New York through the proposed Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel.

Previously, trains on the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex line would have ended up at Newark Penn Station, and passengers would have changed trains there to go to New York.

NJ Transit officials are waiting for new ridership information to continue working on a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed line.

"With our new ridership numbers, we will factor the impact of the THE Tunnel and direct service in and out of NYC," said Dan Stessel, NJ Transit spokesman. "We will also incorporate county information to provide the best estimates."

Ridership information from the counties also will include employment numbers and workplace locations, he said.

A timetable for completion of the draft environmental impact study and scheduling a public hearing is based on when NJ Transit officials receive and review new ridership information from Monmouth and Ocean counties, Stessel said.

The idea of including ridership numbers for THE Tunnel as part of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex draft environmental impact study came from George Warrington, NJ Transit executive director.

"There was a lot of disparity between the (original) NJ Transit numbers and ours," Goldschlag said. "One recommendation from George Warrington was to hire an independent ridership consultant to work in Monmouth and Ocean counties' assumptions into the ridership numbers."

Working in favor of the counties is that the consultant, DMJM/AECOM, was recommended by NJ Transit and has worked with the agency, she said.

Monmouth and Ocean officials are still backing the Monmouth Junction route as the preferred alternative.

"McLaughlin and Associates did a phone survey in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, and 78 percent of the residents (who were called) favor the Monmouth Junction alignment," Goldschlag said. "To me that shows a lot of support for it."

Three municipalities in Middlesex County have opposed that alignment. But the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers endorses the route.

NJ Transit officials don't plan to select a route until after public hearings are held on the impact study.

That study will include the three potential routes, Stessel said. Once the study is complete, public hearings will be held. Once those comments are reviewed, a decision on one route will be made, Stessel said.

So far $6.7 million has been budgeted for that study, Stessel said. In 2001, a contract was awarded to Systra of Bloomfield, which has been working on the impact study since then, he said.

Copyright © 2006 Asbury Park Press. All rights reserved.
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Postby Tom V » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:35 pm

NJ Transit studying hybrid trains

Plan could mean fewer connections
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/21/06
BY LARRY HIGGS
STAFF WRITER

For riders of NJ Transit lines requiring passengers to change from diesel to electric-powered trains in mid-commute, a one-seat ride might be coming down the track.

NJ Transit officials are considering using dual-mode locomotives — which can be powered either by diesel engine or overhead electric wires — as a way to give an uninterrupted ride to passengers on the Raritan Valley Line and the proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Mid-dlesex line.

NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington said dual-mode locomotives also could be used to extend service on the Montclair-Boonton line west to Port Morris, Morris County, and possibly for seven to eight miles on the Lackawanna Cutoff into Sussex County.

All this is predicated on the implementation of the hybrid locomotives and the building of the proposed $7.2 billion Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, called THE Tunnel, which is gathering support and funding, Warrington said.

"We would be sacrificing a huge opportunity if we didn't plan the railroad system in New Jersey to use that capacity," War-rington said.


http://app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060821/NEWS/608210333
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