• NCS to Broad Street Station ("Newark Light Rail")

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

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

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  by ajt
The horse is probably already out of the barn with respect to the use of "commuter".

I hear traffic reporters on summer weekends discussing 'commuters on the Parkway heading to the Jersey Shore for a day at the beach', and this past December 'it's a big weekend for people commuting to malls for holiday shopping'.

Commuter, for better or worse, is becoming synonymous with 'traveler'.
  by fredct
Sorry, pet peeve... they need to fix the traffic light patterns associated with the NLR crossing a street. Currently, if it crosses a street anywhere near when a cross street is supposed to get green, the light pattern just skips that, meaning you're waiting through two rounds of lights of the main road going before you get your chance. Why not just delay the cross street's green for 10-15 seconds rather than skip it all together? There, I've said my piece ;)
  by MickD
Personally I love the Atlantic Street stop. Short easy walk over to the Hampton Inn.Even with baggage.
  by jamesrileyjr
OK I wanted to update a few people on here, I have contacted NJ Transit and Norfolk Southern's Government Liason in NJ, and proposed a plan to extend the Newark City Subway from between Branch Brook Park and Silver Lake Stations to the Harrison-Kingsland Branch Line in Kearny using the former Boonton Line trackage. I'm attaching the plan I sent to them, but I want to know if anyone could let me know what they think of the plan now. I've tried to take into account what I've learned here on the forums, and I realize that posting it here before sending it out probably would've been a good idea, but I let my eagerness to have a plan submitted and reviewed overtake my common sense.

Any suggestions that are posted and included in the revised plan will be credited using your forum username, and there will be another credit for "the eternally patient and intelligent users of the Railroad.net Forums, without whose help this plan would have never left the station."

Please also realize that this is my first time putting a proposal of this nature together - I'm prepared for criticism but... well, do be gentle, OK?

Since I can't upload it here, I've created a link to the document on Google Documents.

  by Douglas John Bowen
NJ-ARP, for its part, urges any and all truly active citizens -- as opposed to all the Armchair Admirals and e-anonymous -- to foment and forward actual plans to real-world authorities (and, to be sure, critics--including ourselves!). We won't automatically agree with jamesrileyjr's understandable caution vis a vis his own ideas; sometimes those who know more are more intent on proving that than in implementing another's ideas.

We'll take a look ourselves, and any critique we might have will be forwarded to the author with, we hope, the proper courtesy and respect.

Thank you for the effort. We look forward to learning.
  by necrails
Utilizing existing ROW to extend service makes sense. It seems the riders come after the service is built. If Newark is to be "revitilized" Kearney would want to offer its citizens an easy way to connect to Penn Station, the Arts Center and the "Rock". Although this seems to be a round about way to get to Penn, express service like the Bayonne Flyer could make the trip relatively fast and offer Kearney a rail option it hasn't had since the closure of the heavy rail station.

I could even envision the line extending all the way to Hoboken to connect with the Hudson LR line, offering a way to move throughout Hudson and Essex without getting in a car. Sort of like when Public Service had those trolley routes all over the place. NJT should look at all unused ROW's to develop a phased expansion plan as funds become available. New York isn't the only destination for NJ travelers.
  by jamesrileyjr
I had thought so as well, however in emails with Norfolk Southern they have indicated they are using what's referred to as the southern end of that line (the portion near Secaucus/Hoboken). The northern end, the end which would be used here, is out of service at this point. I live maybe fifty feet from the tracks so I can attest to the fact that there are zero trains using the tracks right now.

I am thinking that if this goes well, if the light rail extension works the way I'd like it to work, the Highland Avenue Station that I reference creating in the proposal may eventually become a transfer station, and service may eventually head north of where it currently is (right now, the proposal sends the light rail down towards the Newark City Subway) towards Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. Right now, though, I'm focused on getting this portion working.

Also, I received an email from Norfolk Southern this morning indicating that they'd like more details on the service before they'll be able to comment further. Basically as many details as I can come up with, they'd like - environmental impact, schedule, type of train (diesel vs. electric), etc. The policy is that they are more than happy to work with public transportation divisions and corporations in setting up service but they want details regarding the impact on their trackage before they can comment further.
  by jamesrileyjr
Big question regarding this project - how are we going to fund rehabilitation of the bridge? Yes, it belongs to NS and NJT would be asking for the rights to use the RoW, but who would ultimately take care of it?
  by ryanov

Whereabouts on the trackage do you live (just curious). I used to live on Summer Ave adjacent to the tracks. Would have loved if service ran from the former North Newark station to Branch Brook Park or elsewhere, as I took it frequently from that point to Norfolk St. I personally prefer a routing which then places the train on the Newark Branch, serving Nutley and other towns just a short distance from the main drag (Washington Street). This area is underserved on this axis by fast rail transportation (only perpendicular trains run now).

I do think that stops at Lake St. and North Newark at an absolute minimum would be great. Service at Arlington would be good too. Where to go from there? I don't know.

Does anyone know if the real problem was that bridge over the Passaic? I'm no engineer, but it doesn't look like a complicated bridge. I'm guessing the problem is that it doesn't open anymore, or couldn't be reasonably expected to open. Doesn't seem to be a problem now that it's out of service.
  by jamesrileyjr
1) Forest Street in Kearny, opposite side of the tracks from the little park.
2) I agree, service into Nutley along those tracks would be a good idea, but it would have to take into account the fact that freight service still runs on that line - not often, but enough to affect NLR service. Freight is also sporadic - I've found trains crawling along that line on Saturday afternoons, at midnight, 6 AM... very odd hours. If an agreement can be established with the current owner / operator of the trackage, then yes I'm positive the service can be expanded in that direction.
3) When I initially contacted NJ Transit, they indicated that the problem with this plan came from the fact that the bridge needed to be rehabilitated. They didn't say what exactly was wrong with it in the first place, but I'm assuming it's slightly older than they'd prefer with trains going across at all hours of the day and night.
  by WaitinginSJ
Dumb question, are they still going to extend the Newark Light Rail? (not just the broad street extension) and would it use platform 3 in Newark Penn. When I walk through there it looks like they left it open for another line. Also, with the total number of lines that we would all like to see, it makes me laugh a little thinking of waiting for the right trolley in Philly and, of course, getting everything but.
  by jamesrileyjr
You mean south to 21 and the airport? I'm not sure. Everything I've seen from NJ Transit, everything I've been able to find on the subject online tells me no, the project is on hold for now and may actually be totally scrapped in favor of a PATH extension to the airport.

I wanted to give everyone here a little bit of an update as well.

1) The Kearny extension is now considered Phase 1 of a broader expansion plan.
2) The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority is including this plan in their draft plan for projects for 2009-10.
3) We have the explicit support of Kearny's Mayor Al Santos and may have the support of East Newark's Mayor Joseph Smith as well. I have been trying to reach Stefan Pryor, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development for the City of Newark, to gauge his support for this plan and to try and get some idea of how we could fund this project.
4) As pertains to #1 and #3 above, the plan is to expand the Newark City Subway all along the former Boonton Line tracks and along the unnamed freight line which meets the Boonton Line at Kearny's eastern border and goes through Harrison and East Newark before crossing back over the Passaic into Newark and northward to Clifton and Paterson. I haven't decided which would be better yet - stopping in Clifton near the train station or stopping in Paterson just shy of its train station. The details and a revised project description are at the original link (thank God for Google Docs!). Anyone who needs the link again, here you go:


Let me know what you think, and if anyone has a way to get Stefan's attention, please please please let me know!
  by Marv95
Don't know how easy it is to reach Stefan Pryor, but if this proposal doesn't include any stops in the city itself or benefit the city in any way(*cough* extension on Mulberry Street *cough*) then I wouldn't bother trying to reach him.
  by jamesrileyjr
More news:

We have a blogger site for the project, as well as a Facebook group. I haven't checked the FB group since Ash Wednesday (gave up FB for lent) so I'm not sure how many people have joined or what's going on there. I've posted some more updates on the blogger site though (http://expandncs.blogspot.com).

Also, for those curious, the picture on the top of the ExpandNCS site is the Boonton Line headed east to Hoboken, taken on Forest Street at the east end of Arlington Station. There's more where that came from, if anyone wants more shots.

Belleville has signed on and is in the process of becoming certified as a Transit Village under NJ Transit's "Transit Village" funding program. Their aim is to begin Light Rail service, at least in Belleville, along the tracks in question (Erie RR? I keep forgetting what line that is - the line parallels Washington Avenue). Whether they intend this as an expansion of the Newark system or simply one of their own (doubtful since expanding the existing system makes the most sense), they have not confirmed yet. This is definitely good news though.

I've also been very busy refining and enhancing the main proposal, available at the same link as indicated previously in this thread. The link is also available on the ExpandNCS blog site. Please let me know what you think - my aim is to make the best proposal possible. Part of my revisions include a full map of the system after all the changes we propose have taken place.

I've also posted some transit-related information on my personal blog: http://realchangeandsense.blogspot.com. One of the posts contains slightly PG language - sorry, I just got very worked up over an article I read.
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