• MOM Rail Service

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

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

  • 1602 posts
  • 1
  • 101
  • 102
  • 103
  • 104
  • 105
  • 107
  by Tom V
 
MOM serves a community that desperately needs an alternative to Route 9 for travel North, all the traffic in the area runs North-South. it doesn't need light rail as the density is not there. It's a suburban community, there's no demand for transit or light rail for going to the mall etc..

Monroe, Freehold, Manalapan, Howell, Lakewood all have huge demand for travel to NYC, Newark Airport, Jersey City. For the overwhelming majority the only option is Route 9, living in the area all my life the traffic has reached a tipping point. They run the Academy, NJ Transit buses as much as they can, but there needs to be an alternative.

MOM from Lakehurst-Jackson, Lakewood, Howell, Freehold, Manalapan, Monroe/Jamesburg, Dayton/Monmouth Jct. connecting to the NEC with stops at New Brunswick, Newark Airport, Newark, Secaucus Jct. NY Penn.

The NJCL and NEC are too far to Manalapan, Freehold, Howell, Jackson, Lakewood. to be options. The MOM route through Red Bank totally misses the Route 9 corridor, which is the whole point of MOM. The Red Bank-Farmingdale routes is too close to the NJCL.
  by Bracdude181
 
@Tom V Since there are several problems with routing commuter train along the current ROWs, (and the fact that NJT and Conrail hate each other) Maybe light rail from Downtown Toms River to South Amboy would be a better option?

Also, what about Bricktown here in Ocean County? Is there a demand for North-South commuting from there as well?
  by CJPat
 
Bracdude,
Brick is in a great position for commuters (other than being a long ride away from NYC). Sitting next to the GSP, the East side of Brick is also able to reach Point Pleasant/Bay Head stations easily. If Lakewood could be activated, that would put the West side of Brick in a position to offer a convenient rail option besides just GSP & Rt 9. Rail doesn't need to be in your town. It just needs to be next door/convenient.

I commuted years up north to upper NJ and as far away as Rockland County. I will say, after the widening of the GSP (especially at the Raritan Bridge) and the introduction of Eazy Pass, The GSP got a lot better, until you get to Cranford/Union.

Toms River is considered the bottom of the Commuter Boot to North Jersey/NYC. But once over the Raritan, things go back to being challenging (by auto). They can't pay me enough to sit in all that.
  by Tom V
 
I commuted from Manalapan to Lower Manhattan, I used Academy buses, driving to the PATH train in Harrison and I've taken the NJCL from Woodbridge, South Amboy, Matawan. I ended driving most of the time all the way into Manhattan simply because of the convenience.

There is no way someone is going to sit on a light rail from Toms River or Lakewood to Red Bank or Matawan to switch to another train and then switch to a Subway. How long would that take? Driving myself all the way into work took me 1:45 minutes, the Light Rail to NJ Transit to Subway will be pushing three or more hours.

They are going to finally get Gateway built, which opens up lines like the RVL, Main, Bergen for direct service to NY Penn. Similarly MOM can connect directly to NY Penn, that is the MOM route. One seat ride from Lakewood, Howell, Freehold, Manalapan, Monroe to New Brunswick (Rutgers, jobs at the two large hospitals, Johnson & Johnson), Newark airport, Newark Penn, Secaucus and NY Penn. Dual mode locomotives make this a reality.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 11:40 pm The Malls are kind of dying. The monmouth mall is pretty dead now.
Freehold Mall is still booming and bustling, it's probably the best mall we have in Central Jersey right now. Monmouth Mall is indeed dying, but it has massive redevelopment plans being done; right now, they are building a small hospital, with plans to redo the entire mall, add housing, hotels, etc. I think a Brookdale campus or something is planned there too.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Tom V wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:12 am I commuted from Manalapan to Lower Manhattan, I used Academy buses, driving to the PATH train in Harrison and I've taken the NJCL from Woodbridge, South Amboy, Matawan. I ended driving most of the time all the way into Manhattan simply because of the convenience.

There is no way someone is going to sit on a light rail from Toms River or Lakewood to Red Bank or Matawan to switch to another train and then switch to a Subway. How long would that take? Driving myself all the way into work took me 1:45 minutes, the Light Rail to NJ Transit to Subway will be pushing three or more hours.

They are going to finally get Gateway built, which opens up lines like the RVL, Main, Bergen for direct service to NY Penn. Similarly MOM can connect directly to NY Penn, that is the MOM route. One seat ride from Lakewood, Howell, Freehold, Manalapan, Monroe to New Brunswick (Rutgers, jobs at the two large hospitals, Johnson & Johnson), Newark airport, Newark Penn, Secaucus and NY Penn. Dual mode locomotives make this a reality.
I think the option of light rail is being mentioned as an intermediate until the Gateway Tunnels get built. If they started today, it would still take at least another decade of construction, so that it wouldn't be until a generation or two of commuters later for MOM to be realistic. Light rail would be an option to have some sort of commuting option in the meantime.

Plus, the longer they wait to do some sort of light/commuter rail option, the more expensive this project will get as the tracks deterioate and development continues to encroach on the current and proposed ROWs.
  by Tom V
 
The Freehold Mall is dead, it only has a Firestone, Wendy's, Burlington and a Farmers Market. The Freehold Raceway Mall is not dead but it's on it's way, it's lost Sears (vacant), Lord and Taylor (vacant), Nordstrom (Vacant) and a bunch of other stores. They're trying to change the zoning to be able to convert the vacant space into other uses.

We are discussing the project of building a NJ Transit Commuter rail line from Lakehurst that would relieve the commuter bus traffic on Route 9 between NYC, Newark, Jersey City and towns along the Route 9 corridor (Monroe, Manalapan, Freehold, Howell, Jackson, Lakewood). It has nothing to do with Malls or light rail, it's a suburban corridor that needs commuter rail. The MOM line would be to supplement the NJ Transit buses 139 (Port Authority Bus Terminal), 63 (Weehawken, Jersey City, Hoboken), 67, 68 etc.. that all run from Lakewood (and Toms River area) up Route 9 to North Jersey and NYC.

The Gateway tunnels make MOM rail more viable then ever.

https://www.nj.com/monmouth/2014/01/pro ... ation.html
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
Let's wait for the tunnels to be built first.

I didn't realize Freehold Raceway Mall was struggling that bad.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Tom V wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:13 pm The Freehold Mall is dead, it only has a Firestone, Wendy's, Burlington and a Farmers Market. The Freehold Raceway Mall is not dead but it's on it's way, it's lost Sears (vacant), Lord and Taylor (vacant), Nordstrom (Vacant) and a bunch of other stores. They're trying to change the zoning to be able to convert the vacant space into other uses.

We are discussing the project of building a NJ Transit Commuter rail line from Lakehurst that would relieve the commuter bus traffic on Route 9 between NYC, Newark, Jersey City and towns along the Route 9 corridor (Monroe, Manalapan, Freehold, Howell, Jackson, Lakewood). It has nothing to do with Malls or light rail, it's a suburban corridor that needs commuter rail. The MOM line would be to supplement the NJ Transit buses 139 (Port Authority Bus Terminal), 63 (Weehawken, Jersey City, Hoboken), 67, 68 etc.. that all run from Lakewood (and Toms River area) up Route 9 to North Jersey and NYC.

The Gateway tunnels make MOM rail more viable then ever.

https://www.nj.com/monmouth/2014/01/pro ... ation.html
I think that's not necessarily an issue with the FRM itself, but those stores had plenty of other issues going on as well. And if they do zone those empty spaces for something else, say apartments or schooling, now you need mass transit even more there.
  by R&DB
 
#1578434 by JohnFromJersey
Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:22 pm
There is no possible path to build railway to Freehold Raceway Mall and no need. Of the 3 originally proposed routes for MOM , the Freehold - Matawan route is gone. The second route Farmingdale - Red Bank does not take enough traffic off Rte-9. The third via Jamesburg to Monmouth Junction has extreme NIMBY resistance in Jamesburg and may be too long timewise for commuting. Another issue is the southern terminal selected is Lakehurst. I probably should be Toms River, thereby possibly picking up some GSP traffic.
The major problems with MOM are NIMBYS, signaling and track speed. There are very few crossing gates in the entire area. The track speed South of Red Bank and East of Jamesburg is ten mph. So why take a train when you coould probably bicycle it faster.
MOM cannot be implemented until we can afford to build the lines to FRA Class 5 and 6. Otherwise commute times become excessive.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
R&DB wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:03 pm
#1578434 by JohnFromJersey
Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:22 pm
There is no possible path to build railway to Freehold Raceway Mall and no need. Of the 3 originally proposed routes for MOM , the Freehold - Matawan route is gone. The second route Farmingdale - Red Bank does not take enough traffic off Rte-9. The third via Jamesburg to Monmouth Junction has extreme NIMBY resistance in Jamesburg and may be too long timewise for commuting. Another issue is the southern terminal selected is Lakehurst. I probably should be Toms River, thereby possibly picking up some GSP traffic.
The major problems with MOM are NIMBYS, signaling and track speed. There are very few crossing gates in the entire area. The track speed South of Red Bank and East of Jamesburg is ten mph. So why take a train when you coould probably bicycle it faster.
MOM cannot be implemented until we can afford to build the lines to FRA Class 5 and 6. Otherwise commute times become excessive.
1. The tracks are already there and owned by NJDOT with the Jamesburg route, someone high up needs to bite the bullet and tell the NIMBYs to not move next to railroad tracks in the first place if they don't like trains. Not to mention, the wealthy shore towns of Belmar, Spring Lake, Deal, etc. have VERY frequent train service and seem to not mind it at all, if not enjoy the easy NYC connection.
2. Freehold-Matawan ROW is still there, and owned by NJDOT, despite being a rail trail. Going off of point #1, no one wants to do it because it would lose a lot of wealthy votes for whoever did it.
3. I'm saying that if/when MOM happens, they should have complimentary free shuttle services from the station(s) closest to the largest malls, like Freehold Raceway or the Monmouth Mall if it went towards there.
4. I believe D&D taking over operations of the FIT and SOUS lines is a direct attempt by NJT/NJDOT to have someone else do the base maintenance work for them; Lord knows Conrail wasn't doing it, and I'd imagine it would be much easier and cheaper for NJT to upgrade the line further if/when MOM comes around if it's at FRA Class 1 or 2 instead of slowly rotting into the ground.

You are so right that they would need to have trains going pretty fast to make this viable; a consistent 80 MPH at least to make the commute worth it. Or at least have frequent express trains that originate in Toms River/Lakehurst, and only stop in a few towns for a short period of time. Even if they had the required tracks for speed, the amount of crossings they would need would pose a major problem, especially in Lakewood and Freehold.
  by CJPat
 
A couple of points:
1. I don't understand the concerns these politicians have with NIMBYs. In this situation the number of people who have any vested interest are only going to number at most around 100 vs multi thousands voting. If it was a mayoral race, I could understand and that is why the Mayor of jamesburg is a key Nimby, but for a Governor, it is irrelevant numbers. When we had the idiotic red light cameras, there were thousands of upset people and it still took a very determined politician to block/reject the laws.

2. I believe the problem of establishing the MOM (besides the large funding issue) is the shortage of space for the additional trainsets on the NEC (regardless if you are speaking about the Monmouth Jnctn alignment or up the Coast Line). The double decker cars and the new tunnels help with creating more space but you still need room on the actual 4-6 track mainline from Rahway thru Newark/Harrison. Some of the biggest expense in establishing MOM does not have to do with the trackage or signalling at all. It is associated with a) buying new trainsets, b) hiring and paying additional operating and maintenance personnel, and c) Constructing additional infrastructure like stations and maintenance facilities.

The need for MOM service had been well established since the late '80's. The Nimby's are a convenient excuse. Money is what makes the world go round and NJ has diverted all the excess tax money into lining the pockets of the politicians' and their patrons' to the point that nothing can really develop further. It was nothing when they wer4e syphoning off 1% of the treasury. Now they have grabbed far greater leaving inadequate money to do anything significant. The Lackawanna Cutoff is only making steps forward because they got the Feds and Pennsy to pick up a healthy piece of the overall pie. Jersey is having a hard enough time going 7 miles to Andover.
  by Tom V
 
R&DB wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 8:03 pm
#1578434 by JohnFromJersey
Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:22 pm
There is no possible path to build railway to Freehold Raceway Mall and no need. Of the 3 originally proposed routes for MOM , the Freehold - Matawan route is gone. The second route Farmingdale - Red Bank does not take enough traffic off Rte-9. The third via Jamesburg to Monmouth Junction has extreme NIMBY resistance in Jamesburg and may be too long timewise for commuting. Another issue is the southern terminal selected is Lakehurst. I probably should be Toms River, thereby possibly picking up some GSP traffic.
The major problems with MOM are NIMBYS, signaling and track speed. There are very few crossing gates in the entire area. The track speed South of Red Bank and East of Jamesburg is ten mph. So why take a train when you coould probably bicycle it faster.
MOM cannot be implemented until we can afford to build the lines to FRA Class 5 and 6. Otherwise commute times become excessive.
Lakehurst is the terminus because that's where they will store the trains, the real terminus is Lakewood which according the results of the latest census is the fastest growing city in the State of New Jersey. 46% growth in ten years is a strong argument for MOM, the Route 9 corridor bus service is inadequate now, give it another ten years. There is strong support for MOM in Ocean and Monmouth county, the only NIMBY's were in Middlesex (specifically Monroe). That's not enough reason not to pursue the project, especially with these census results about the future of the Route 9 corridor.

https://www.app.com/story/news/local/co ... 112581002/

The Gateway tunnel makes it possible to serve NY Penn directly, that saves travelers time even with the longer routing.

I live in Manalapan off route 33, I was commuting to Lower Manhattan for five years (2015-2021). The quickest drive was for me to drive West on Route 33 to Hightstown and get on the Turnpike at exit 8. It is actually 8 miles further going Route 33 to the Turnpike than if I went up Route 9 to the Parkway and Turnpike at Exit 11. The Hightstown route was at least ten minutes quicker coming and going during rush hour even being 8 miles further than the Route 9 option. MOM is similar, mileage might be longer via Monmouth Jct.. But if it runs express up the NEC only stopping at Newark Penn and NY Penn it's competitive. The off peak trains can stop at New Brunswick, Metro Park, Newark Airport etc..
  by Bracdude181
 
One thing that has always concerned me about the MOM project is what it would mean for the freight trains around here. Especially since NJT and Conrail hate each other. Since NJT has all sorts of restrictions on freight, any sort of operation they start up around here would instantly mean a large reduction in freight traffic. This will almost certainly put a lot more trucks on the roads...
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:20 am One thing that has always concerned me about the MOM project is what it would mean for the freight trains around here. Especially since NJT and Conrail hate each other. Since NJT has all sorts of restrictions on freight, any sort of operation they start up around here would instantly mean a large reduction in freight traffic. This will almost certainly put a lot more trucks on the roads...
Since NJT is probably getting initial MOM work through a private freight company, I don't think it'll be a big issue. NJT seems to not mind freight everywhere else but the Coast Line.
  • 1
  • 101
  • 102
  • 103
  • 104
  • 105
  • 107