• Timeline of Commuter Trains into NY Penn

  • 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 Youngster
 
In the era of the Pennsylvania Railroad what commuter lines operated into Penn Station NY? Was it only what we now call Northeast Corridor trains or did some New York and Long Branch, now Jersey Coast Line trains, operate into New York to. Also in the Pennsy era what determined if a train went to Penn St NY or Exchange place. I know these questions should be in the PRR thread but I’m looking to get a timeline of when each commuter line eventually made its way into NY. I know that the timeline overlaps the PRR, PC, Conrail and now NJT but I’m looking to know at what points these lines made it into New York.
  by Return to Reading Company Olney Sta
 
Yes, NY & LB trains operated by the PRR did use Penn Station. Trains originating in Bay Head made the engine change from diesel (or, at an earlier point in time, steam) to electric in South Amboy. Other service - usually MU trains- operated directly from South Amboy (and also at some points in time Rahway) to Penn Station New York.

(Jersey Central trains from the NY&LB operated to CRRNJ's Jersey City terminal, until implementation of the Aldene Plan in 1967. At that time Jersey Central trains from both the NY&LB and today's Raritan Line began operating into Newark Penn.)

PRR did use the Exchange Place station in Jersey City as destination for some commuter service until about 1960.

Prior to PRR's electrification project in the 1930's, Exchange Place was the primary commuter terminal and Penn was primarily the terminal for long distance trains.
  by Youngster
 
So much like today with NJT the PRR offered diesel shuttles from Bayhead to South Amboy where you could change to an MU into Penn Station whereas the CNJ offered direct diesel service from Bayhead to the Communipaw Terminal in Jersey City, and later Newark Penn, much like today where diesels from Bayhead travel directly to Hoboken.

After the 1930’s electrification to Washington on what was to become the Northeast Corridor did traffic to Exchange Place dropped off dramatically. I’m trying to figure out at what point that the terminal was deemed expendable and what trains were running their at the end.

Coming back to NJT did they plan on from the beginning to bring the ex-Lackawanna commuter trains into NY Penn or was that something that evolved over time?
  by polybalt
 
Checking the August 1954 Official Guide, the PRR had only six trains each way using Exchange Place, all at rush hour. Everything else ran out of New York Penn Station. Nothing terminated in Newark Penn. Five of the six would have been electric MU trains to points on the Main Line or what is now called the North Jersey Coast Line, which was only electrified as far as South Amboy. The sixth train, known as the Broker, was steam powered all the way from Exchange Place, through Newark Penn, all the way to Bay Head Jct. on the Coast Line. Double-headed on Friday nights, it was quite a sight!
  by Return to Reading Company Olney Sta
 
Youngster wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:55 pm So much like today with NJT the PRR offered diesel shuttles from Bayhead to South Amboy where you could change to an MU into Penn Station whereas the CNJ offered direct diesel service from Bayhead to the Communipaw Terminal in Jersey City, and later Newark Penn, much like today where diesels from Bayhead travel directly to Hoboken.

After the 1930’s electrification to Washington on what was to become the Northeast Corridor did traffic to Exchange Place dropped off dramatically. I’m trying to figure out at what point that the terminal was deemed expendable and what trains were running their at the end.

Coming back to NJT did they plan on from the beginning to bring the ex-Lackawanna commuter trains into NY Penn or was that something that evolved over time?
Well not exactly, the PRR trains from Bayhead were not shuttles, engines were changed in South Amboy to continue. It was a one-seat ride. NJT continued the engine change practice until electrification was extended to Long Branch in 1988, that is when the shuttle practice started. (One seat rides from Bayhead to NY Penn would not resume until introduction of the dual mode locomotives.)

Operation of ex-Lackawanna trains ("Mid-Town Direct" service) into Penn was not possible until the Kearny connection was completed in 1996. That operation did "evolve" in the sense that, when the original DL&W DC electrification was upgraded and the original MU's replaced in the mid 1980's, it was replaced with 25K volt/ 60 HZ system; this was to be compatible with the Amtrak/ NEC. (As it turned out, Amtrak did not change the power system on the NEC but has kept the PRR's 12K / 25HZ system. So Mid Town Direct trains have to change 'on the fly' while traversing the connection. MU's cannot do this - why all Mid Town Direct trains are locomotive hauled.)

Exchange Place closed around 1960.
  by Return to Reading Company Olney Sta
 
polybalt wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:54 pm The sixth train, known as the Broker, was steam powered all the way from Exchange Place, through Newark Penn, all the way to Bay Head Jct. on the Coast Line. Double-headed on Friday nights, it was quite a sight!
And unfortunately well known for being involved in the Woodbridge wreck.
  by mohawkrailfan
 
Youngster wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:55 pmComing back to NJT did they plan on from the beginning to bring the ex-Lackawanna commuter trains into NY Penn or was that something that evolved over time?
A New York Times article in 1991 stated, "Railroad old-timers say the idea for the link-up, called the Kearny Connection, originated after World War II." But it didn't give any more detail than that.

It seems like the kind of thing Dwight Palmer and his people would have studied in the 50s or 60s.
  by Youngster
 
So basically in the PRR era it was only NE Corridor trains and Jersey Coast line trains that operated into Penn. It was in the NJT era that the ex-Lackawanna lines and the dual mode Raritan Valley line, ex-CNJ, trains made their way into New York leading to the crowded station we have today.

Was there any ever thought of connecting Main, Bergen, Pascack Valley, and Port Jervis lines into New York if capacity could be increased? I’m assuming for now changing at Secaucus will have to suffice for those lines.
  by kilroy
 
Was there any ever thought of connecting Main, Bergen, Pascack Valley, and Port Jervis lines into New York if capacity could be increased? I’m assuming for now changing at Secaucus will have to suffice for those lines.
Plenty of threads here on that subject.