CJPat wrote: ↑Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:45 am
From my perspective, the problem has always been trying to make a train do a single run all the way up to NYC ("one-seat ride"). Traffic into NYC has been crammed full and even with the double deck cars, I don't think there are any additional slots available on the NE corridor to add trains to (part of the reason they were trying to build a second station in NYC with the "Tunnel to Nowhere" into Macy's basement).
The best answers that come to me is simply a two-fold plan. Run a shuttle from Lakewood (expand to originate from Toms River) thru Red Bank and up to Long Branch for a platform change. And at the same time, build a shuttle thru Jamesburg to a new station on the NEC at Monmouth Junction that would allow a platform change on the NEC to the North (New Brunswick or further north) or South to Trenton/Philadelphia.
It eliminates the need to try to create new slots on the NEC (or a new flyover to get from the NEC onto the Monmouth branch). The real challenges are building the station on the NEC and making room on existing trains to accomodate the extra people at the platform change locations. Anyone from south of Farmingdale that wants to go north in the direction of NYC would have to use the shuttle thru Red Bank because anything else is going to take too much time. Freehold to NYC would still be a lengthy haul out thru Monmouth Jnctn, but the run to Matawan routing would never happen with all the numerous McMansions that back up to the ROW that were built long after the tracks were ripped up decades ago and have been sitting there since the late 1980s.
I can't imagine freight hauling would be too happy with any of this.
I think freight would be ok with it, it's already pretty infrequent on these lines (that would probably change with government investment improving the infrastructure), and seems to run during the day or night, aka not during peak rush hour.
I think if a light DMU option is done, it should be based on whether the destination is North or South. For instance, if you're in Eatontown, Freehold, Lakewood etc. and you want to go South to Philly, you would have to take hit the wye at Farmingdale, go West, and then either go to Trenton or Princeton for transfer; there could even be an option for the DMUs to go directly to Philly since I'd imagine they could handle extra trains coming in better than NYP. For North, even if you were in Jamesburg, you'd have to go up to Farmingdale, and then go to Matawan/Red Bank for transfer; not sure if heading down south to Long Branch would be a good idea, as that would be counter productive.