New Dinky to Nassau Street

Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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ExCon90
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by ExCon90 » Wed May 21, 2014 3:23 pm

Two posts from Rodney Fisk on page 6 point out two problems with that.

dowlingm
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by dowlingm » Wed May 21, 2014 9:25 pm

ExCon90 wrote:Two posts from Rodney Fisk on page 6 point out two problems with that.
Ah yes, so they do. We'll have to wait for the report to see what's proposed.

pumpers
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by pumpers » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:21 pm

Rodney Fisk wrote: ... A new bypass road has been opened to allow reconstruction of the AS/UP intersection into a roundabout with both entrance and exit lanes reduced from three to two. I would argue that the only realistic option at this stage is for an extended rail service to traverse the green space around the new Arts Campus.
...

Anything new from the Princeton Alex St etc Task Force? If not what is the next milestone or meeting or report date?
Second, while I am in favor of your plan, the above statement from October seems to be a show stopper . Why would we ever think Princeton Univ would support it? Has anything changed since October?
JS

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:49 pm

Let's start with the history question: In 1984 the university purchased the old stations and surrounding property from NJ Transit. The proceeds were dedicated to contributing to Dinky operating subsidy, split over ten years. NJ Transit continues to own the entirety of the Dinky ROW.

On the matter of extending the Dinky to Plainsboro or West Windsor: The only reason for rail transit in an affluent suburban area is to provide relief from a tedious commute; typical mass transit (buses) well serve the transit-dependent. The conclusion is that such an extension to Forrestal would not generate sufficient riders to justify Federal support. The cost to build a flyover--let alone a tunnel--would yield a cost per incremental rider more than the Detroit People Mover. In addition a separate LRV (and crew) would be required for each extension. How else to meet most trains at the NEC?

25Hz seems satisfied with the current EMU operation, if only service could be increased. But it can't! NJTransit's current labor contract limits roundtrips to three per hour. As 25Hz surely realizes, the current Arrow IIIs could easily make five, absent this mandated tradition.

The new station at the university is under construction with high-level platform. When the Dinky is converted to light rail, the track will be raised to platform level with plenty of track for the gradient. The platform at the Junction will be converted to low level by cutting back the existing platform by four feet and building stairs to the higher level. An ADA pathway already exists. There will be no need for any new high-level platforms; therefore, no worries about space or property acquisition or associated cost. One-off high-level LRVs a problem? Every major manufacturer still builds them. (But they were never under consideration anyway.)

LRV storage will be inside the secured maintenance facility to be built over the existing storage yard. Cost of entire facility: $1.2 million. Contract maintenance service readily available to supplement single staff mechanic. No additional grade-crossing protection will be required.

There will be no additional overhead traction lines; any extension beyond the new station will be by power stored in supercapacitors. The existing OHL will be converted to 650vDC with two factory-built substations mounted on poured-concrete plinths. $65,000 each.

Road markings and signage costs will amount to 0.00001 total capital budget. Soap dispensers in the restrooms will be even less.

About the cost of the LRV: The "VLRV" we have specified is modular; two modules connected make up a train. Therefore we only need a single additional module as a spare, whereas all other LRVs would require a fleet of at least two complete vehicles. Total vehicle cost: $6 million, $2 million a module. (A single Bombardier "Flexity" delivers at $5.8 million.)

Now that I've batted away the examples of 25Hz's rigid thinking, I'll get ready for tomorrow's meeting of the task force.

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:56 pm

About the LRT ROW on green space, the university is obligated by a memorandum of understanding with Princeton Council to that route, or one "mutually agreeable to both parties". PC will stick with that--or a straight shot up to University Place, a route previously precluded but now arguably less intrusive on the new Arts Campus.

pumpers
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by pumpers » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:15 pm

Rodney Fisk wrote:... I'll get ready for tomorrow's meeting of the task force.
good luck, JS

dowlingm
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by dowlingm » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:57 pm

Any intermediate stops between PJ and the current terminus, southeast of Brunswick Pike?

If the track is raised at PJ, would it make sense to continue the elevation with a view to grade sep of the inter-car park road just outside the station?

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:13 am

Currently no intermediate stops between PJ and university but could be added. Track can't be raised at PJ in that LRV must be able to continue to maintenance/storage depot.

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:43 pm

The transit task force is still mulling over whether LRT should operate in street or on a dedicated ROW and whether with one LRV or two. Formal presentation before Princeton Council delayed from later this month until September, 27 months behind schedule.

dowlingm
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by dowlingm » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:19 pm

Sorry Rodney, managed to misread your earlier post about cutting down the platform.

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:00 pm

UPDATE: It appears that the Princeton transit task force may consider converting the Dinky to light rail as anticipated but not extending it to Nassau Street, since most trains would have to reverse at the new station in order to make schedule at the NEC. Why not just keep the current Dinky operation with its Arrow IIIs? Answer: To increase service by 66% (from 3 to 5 roundtrips per hour) and reduce operating cost by 75%, saving more than a million bux a year.

What about service into town? A new Dinky "combo" can now meet every train at the Junction from Nassau Street! The only tradeoff would be a cross-platform transfer onto a bi-directional, driverless bus operating on a narrow, paved and dedicated ROW right up into the CBD, all at lower cost than extending the new Dinky--and introducing yet more new technology to the US.

So now we have an LRV shuttling between two stations with high-level platforms, one not even in service yet, and as 25Hz has declared, there are only low-level LRVs being built. I nervously contacted the chief design engineer of our British builder and can happily report that a high-level version of their VLRV has been fully engineered and can be supplied within the same time frame and at the same price.

Cool beans, I say.
Last edited by Rodney Fisk on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dowlingm
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by dowlingm » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:48 pm

British builder you say. My spidey sense is tingling. It isn't TramPower is it?

Also: I'm pretty sure Siemens Sacramento haven't thrown away the plans for the SD-160 high floor.

MattW
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by MattW » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:19 pm

What is the real cost for this line? Is it the vehicle? The overhead lines? The crew? An idea comes to me for using a flywheel-powered train such as this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_139" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Rodney Fisk
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by Rodney Fisk » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:16 pm

The largest capital expenditure is for the vehicles, then the maintenance depots. The OHL is in place; it merely requires conversion to 750vDC. By far the largest portion of operating cost is labor. That's why a single service chief must be able to run the entire operation.

Regarding the Parry People Mover, I had a nice conversation with Mr. Parry himself. We concluded that taking advantage of the OHL with LRT made far better sense for the Dinky.

25Hz
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Post by 25Hz » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:06 pm

The train just sitting panto on wire is costing money currently. If you increased trip numbers it'd make t more useful than ever.

As for "doggedly attached to heavy rail operation". I guess you didnt read the part where i said i'm a huge trolleybus/light rail fan & advocate.

If princeton borough wants to make a trolley bus loop that connects near the shutt;e station, i'd be 100% for that.

Converting the existing line to anything else is a huge waste of money that could be used elsewhere like a second waterfront connection or second aldene track or several dozen other needed improvements all over the state for NJT. There's even a plan to connect west trenton & KTTN via RiverLine. I'm hugely in favor of that, especially now that commercial service has returned in frontier airlines and the PTC and track projects SEPTA is undertaking to increase on time performance om that line.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

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