• Gateway without the Secaucus loop

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

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by Tom V
 
Would the Gateway project lose too much support if the proposed Secaucus loop were eliminated? Especially from New York State who are contributing. As detailed before the loop is having trains pass through Secaucus jct. twice before entering the tunnels under the Hudson.

Looking at maps it looks like Pascack, Mainline trains could access the Gateway tunnel without the loop if they were to connect with the line that is proposed for the Passsaic-Bergen line. Which would take them right to the tunnel.
  by EuroStar
 
The Secaucus Loop is only a minor part of the budget of Gateway as it is mostly at grade or on fills (most of them existing). Accessing the tunnels without a loop is theoretically possible but requires too much property takings, so it is not viable option. Politically eliminating the loop will lose important support from Bergen County in NJ and Orange/Rockland in NY. It appears to me that without that support, the whole project is likely not viable politically. Additionally operationally no train will stop twice at Secaucus once on each level. In all likelihood the stop for Main/Bergen line trains will remain at the lower level to avoid clogging much needed timeslots on the upper platforms for trains coming from the NEC/M&E/NJCoast. Additionally if this whole thing ever gets build, I guarantee you that there will be multiple express trains which will use the loop and not stop at either the lower or the upper level.
  by NIMBYkiller
 
Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't service expansions on the existing NYP services (NJCL, NEC, M&E, etc) as well as Amtrak be enough to justify the tunnel in terms of utilization? I understand this is different from political justification, I'm just pointing out that Gateway, even with Penn South, likely isn't enough to bring service levels for all of the existing services and Hoboken division services (even if it's just a few peak trains from each) to where they need to be.
  by DanD3815
 
The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The people who would probably benefit the most from the loop would be the ones who live in along the Main & Bergen County and Pt. Jervis Lines. The train is probably a little faster than the bus especially in a lot of traffic. The Pascack Valley Line, on the other hand, has several parallel bus routes, especially once you get to Westwood and continue south. Many people living along the PVL use the bus when they go into the city. I think that line makes more stops than the Bergen County Line from end to end when you take a local train.
  by ryanov
 
DanD3815 wrote: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:13 am The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
Why?
  by CarterB
 
DanD3815 wrote: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:13 am The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
Why are they "special" compared to all other riders wanting access to NYC???
  by Backshophoss
 
Delete the loop,it's unneeded,need the bridge and gateway fast tracked and built
Loop is wasted $$$$$
  by JamesRR
 
ryanov wrote: Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:22 pm
DanD3815 wrote: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:13 am The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
Why?
The loop was always a bonus IMO. The 2nd portal bridge, the extra track from Newark to Portal, the new tunnels - these will increase capacity from Newark to NYP. And provide redundancy.

The loop should honestly be a NJT project integrated into Secaucus - it's not essential for the NYP access improvements on the NEC.
  by MattW
 
CarterB wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:15 am
DanD3815 wrote: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:13 am The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
Why are they "special" compared to all other riders wanting access to NYC???
What other riders? The Raritan Valley Line?
  by EuroStar
 
CarterB wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:15 am
DanD3815 wrote: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:13 am The secaucus loop needs to happen regardless. Orange and rockland counties absolutely need a direct one seat ride into manhattan.
Why are they "special" compared to all other riders wanting access to NYC???
To continue MattW's thought. Why are not the Orange and Rockland counties special? They pay the same taxes to fund the MTA as the other counties in the system, but the service they get is substantially worse. Just compare the number of trains per day from Port Jervis to the ones from Poughkeepsie (hourly service) or New Haven. Even compared to Wassaic and Montauk the service is worse. While the population density is smaller in Orange and Rockland, it is still quite high and they fill quite many buses with commuters to the city, but the commuters prefer the bus because it is direct. The bus in peak hour with traffic is not any faster than the train, but the train change is certainly a big penalty regardless of the time of the day. The Secaucus transfer is 15 minutes each way each day that the commuter does not spend home with his kids and it matters surprisingly much. Also the loop is like the cheapest part of the project -- mostly at grade or on berms over existing rights of way. Where is the benefit of not building the loop? Save like 5% of the total cost of the project, but alienate Orange, Rockland and Bergen county in NJ? Historically Bergen County in NJ has had so much sway in politics that anyone thinking that the project can go forward without the approval of Bergen County politicians needs a crash course in politics.
  by kilroy
 
Remember the new tunnels will not increase capacity initially. The existing tunnels will need to be taken out of service for what 1-2 years, maybe more, for repair. Only then will there be tunnel capacity for additional direct rides. Then there is the need for increased capacity at NYP.

You can build the loop once all these capacity issues are solved. I know everyone things a new bridge and tunnel will give the whole word a direct ride into NYP but it won't. At least initially.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Many people who live in Bergen County, when traveling to NYC, take the bus. They do it for a reason-a one seat ride. This is very true for people who live in the Pascack Valley Line towns. The Secaucus Loop isn't going to save rail passengers much time, especially Pascack Valley Line folks during the off peak hours. Not completely relevent-don't count on Oradell Siding ever getting built. While it would help provide some more trains on the PVL, in the end, the most people who live along or east of the PVL towns will take a bus into the city. If you live along the Main & Bergen County Lines, then the train ride to NYC with a transfer at Secaucus isn't so bad. It's even better taking an express train.
  by EuroStar
 
There is no dispute that the Oradell siding will not get built. However telling people to take the bus into the city is not going to get Gateway without the Secaucus Loop support from Bergen County. Bergen County is very influential in NJ politics as it should be given its size. If you do not have the support of Bergen County, then good luck getting NJ to pay for any of the Gateway goodies. Midtown Direct service made Montclair and the M&E towns substantially more desirable than what they were before when the only direct service in the city was the bus. People do not take the bus because they like it. They take it because they like driving in traffic even less. Assuming comparable prices the train will always be a more comfortable and preferred ride than the bus.
  by pateljones
 
EuroStar wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:34 am Assuming comparable prices the train will always be a more comfortable and preferred ride than the bus.
I do not agree. If one works closer to the PABT, he will take the bus. Many ride Red and Tan or NJT buses from towns along the PVL. I do not see a need for the loop. Do you want to put Red&Tan out of business? That is bad public policy. A second XBL lane at the Lincoln Tunnel is a better investment. The helix is being rebuilt. Put the loop money into new rail service on the Lackawanna Cutoff that is under construction to Pennsylvania.