• NJT Wishlist for Stimulus / Infrastructure Projects

  • 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 Jeff Smith
 
Given that there may be a Trillion Dollar plus stimulus coming our way, what would your priorities for NJT projects be? New starts, light rail, etc.?

1. Lackawanna Cutoff, if just to check it off the list
2. NYSW passenger service
3. Northern Branch LRT extension to Tenafly
  by WashingtonPark
 
Maybe something for South Jersey for a change, like the Camden to Glassboro line they've been studying for 32 years.
  by Return to Reading Company Olney Sta
 
M - O - M

Camden to Glassboro as mentioned above (preferably as extension of PATCO vs RiverLINE).

West Trenton restoration.
  by Komarovsky
 
Converting the old CNJ Main Line east of Aldene to light rail and extending it to Jersey Gardens and EWR. The ROW and bridges are intact between the mall and Aldene, the real money would be spent on building the connection to EWR.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: Good thoughts about stimulus program improvements to NJ Transit.

One of the easiest is finishing the North Jersey Coast Line electrification from
Long Branch to Bay Head Junction.
That alone would free up diesel locomotives and some cars for other routes.

WP: Camden to Glassboro is again a good idea - provided that the NIMBY opposition is overcome.

RDG Olney: The same for M-O-M if something can be worked out and be agreed upon.

The price to restore West Trenton service is going to be the demanded second track
by CSX from Bound Brook to WT.
Will this cost for what may be limited service at first be worth the price? MACTRAXX
  by MaRoFu
 
The most realistic and plausible idea I have is if the Newark Branch were to get turned into a Newark to Paterson line.

I’d also like to see the Edgewater tunnel get some sort of utilization to relieve traffic in the area (potential HBLR or Bergen -Passaic Line branch/extension?). Shame that they’re letting the tunnel go to waste by building a development that will ultimately block the tunnel from being used in anyway.

Seeing the HBLR go up to Closter or even up to where the trail starts is another dream I have, although that idea seems to be less and less likely with each passing year.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I am definately for turning the NWK Industrial Track into a Newark to Paterson light rail line. There is a lot of commercial and residential establishments along the branch. I'm sure that it would make a few stops in Paterson with the terminus in Downtown Paterson. It runs past many of the commercial developments in Clifton-Styretown Shopping Center, Hoffman La Roche Medical School. In Nutley, it crosses Franklin Ave on a bridge which is within walking distance of Downtown Nutley. In Belleville, it runs parallel to Washington Avenue, a very busy street with tons of shops and restaurants. The trip on the light rail from Paterson to Newark would be faster than taking the 72 bus all the way or even doing the 74 to BBP and then NRL to NWK Penn. It would be cheaper than traveling on NJT rail from Paterson to Newark Broad by way of Secaucus Junction. The present situation of the NWK Industrial Track for the present owner Norfolk & Southern isn't a good one at all. Several industries aren't in service anymore along the branch and the ones that are are probably barely a mile from where the NWK Industrial Track leaves the NJT Main Line.
  by rr503
 
Yeah, NWK-Paterson would be great. Some other thoughts:
- Systemwide electrification (to save ops costs, improve train performance, etc)
- Funds to move back towards a more EMU-heavy fleet
- Mid-line loop
- Grade separated interlocking at HUNTER
- Westbound waterfront connection
- Operating $$$ support for higher off peak frequencies where possible (ie on lines not limited by North River Tunnel work)
  by Yankees1
 
Improvements on the Coast Line would be great, namely full electrification south of Long Branch and better off-peak service. There really is no reason that the Coast Line shouldn't be running express between Woodbridge/Rahway and Newark on weekends/off peak. It really slows the trip down to make all those stops.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
I think we should focus that money on improving what we got:

* Perth Amboy HLP please. Very please.
* Manasquan and Monmouth Park getting a proper platform.
* Rebuild Asbury Park station (beautification project).
* Upgrade Jersey Avenue to HLPs.

Expansion's nice, but we got a lot of work to do right now, especially on the ADA of 1990.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
MaRoFu wrote: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:39 am Seeing the HBLR go up to Closter or even up to where the trail starts is another dream I have, although that idea seems to be less and less likely with each passing year.
All the way to Northvale would be wonderful. You'd have to bribe the citizens of Demarest, Closter and Tenafly to ever budge on that. Tenafly wouldn't, I can't see Demarest doing the same.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There are not going to be any new commuter rail routes for the most part until Gateway is built. That needs to come first. You need that before you can even add more express service to the outlying stations. I know that in the short term, NJT is restoring the Cutoff as far as Andover. In my opinion, it would be nice if they can get that to E. Stroudsburg at least but west of the Delaware is PennDot business for the most part.

As for light rail, it would be great to finally have Hudson Bergen Light Rail live up to its name-that is extending it to Englewood. Don't count on the light rail route going beyond Englewood. It would be nice but it looks like a lot of the population area along the proposed route ends in Englewood. North of there, it is pretty much residential communities and downtown areas and maybe NJT wants to use the money for other things. Plus it sounds like many residents living in Tenafly and Closter don't want the train because of the fear of noise and the catenary towers destroying the image. There are light rail routes in affluent areas(Pittsburgh T(much of the South Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh are affluent, Septa's 101 trolley route(probably the south end), parts of the LACMTA Gold Line through Pasadena, etc.

Existing stations on NJT Rail can be improved. A high level platform at Perth Amboy Station is a must. That station sees healthy ridership and the station is along straight track. Personally, all of the stations on the Coastline should get high level platforms-many of the low level remaining ones are along straight tracks. I agree that Manasquan should have platforms on both sides. The same thing goes with Monmouth Park. Not only does Jersey Ave need high level platforms. Those platforms should enable main line boarding on both sides so that way trains could stop there at all hours in both directions. Hopefully NJT will consider that and not use the new North Brunswick Station as an excuse not to make the suggested improvements to Jersey Ave.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:31 am There are not going to be any new commuter rail routes for the most part until Gateway is built. That needs to come first. You need that before you can even add more express service to the outlying stations. I know that in the short term, NJT is restoring the Cutoff as far as Andover. In my opinion, it would be nice if they can get that to E. Stroudsburg at least but west of the Delaware is PennDot business for the most part.
Honestly, the expansion that could definitely get some money from this and not require a new route is getting the RVL to Hampton. I realize it's not Phillipsburg, but even Glen Gardner and Hampton would be a nice improvement. They would just need a spot to store some equipment.
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:31 am Existing stations on NJT Rail can be improved. A high level platform at Perth Amboy Station is a must. That station sees healthy ridership and the station is along straight track. Personally, all of the stations on the Coastline should get high level platforms-many of the low level remaining ones are along straight tracks. I agree that Manasquan should have platforms on both sides. The same thing goes with Monmouth Park. Not only does Jersey Ave need high level platforms. Those platforms should enable main line boarding on both sides so that way trains could stop there at all hours in both directions. Hopefully NJT will consider that and not use the new North Brunswick Station as an excuse not to make the suggested improvements to Jersey Ave.
The problem with Jersey Avenue is going to be building the connection between 2 main line platforms. The PRR catenary towers are too high for an overpass (unless you really want to build it up), so the answer would be inherently building an underpass. That primarily is why I think the County platform and the NEC southbound one should be priority for now.

For the Coast Line:

Perth Amboy (in NJ Transit's plans, just not started)
Little Silver
Monmouth Park
Allenhurst
Bradley Beach
Belmar
Spring Lake
Manasquan
Bay Head

all need high-level platforms (and in the case of two, platforms at all). I think putting the money toward Perth Amboy, Little Silver, Belmar and Spring Lake would be best for NJ Transit.

There are other stations that need it:

Suffern
Rutherford
Passaic
Clifton
Essex Street
Bound Brook
Dunellen
Fanwood
Raritan
Bridgewater
Lyndhurst (in NJ Transit's plans)
Kingsland
Millburn
Maplewood
Orange

These are just examples. There are a lot more that are of medium to high priority for HLP. But putting money toward ADA accessibility should be a high priority.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Hopefully when Gateway is finished, the RVL can run all the way to the Lehigh Valley Region. I would try to get it as far as either Bethlehem or Allentown. I don't know much about Glen Gardner or Hampton to give my view about extending the RVL out there. It's a shame that NJT stopped running to Phillipsburg? Any reason why the ridership was low?

It would be nice for high level platforms to be built at Bay Head Station. Just remember that that platforms are on a curve. However, there should be enough room to build them. Belmar and Spring Lake should have gotten their high level platforms before Elberon did because both Belmar and Spring Lake Stations see more riders than Elberon. Elberon probably has some good ridership given that it's serves the south end of Long Branch and parts of Ocean Twp.

More stations on the RVL should get high level platforms. I agree with the list of RVL stations there. Bound Brook, Dunellen, Bridgewater, Fanwood, and Raritan all have their current platforms on straightaways and see high ridership.

On the Bergen County Line, I agree about Rutherford. Not only is it on a straightaway. It draws in healthy ridership from not only Rutherford but from surrounding towns although the part of Lyndhurst that is closest to Rutherford is where the two Main Line stations are. It would be nice to have both Lyndhurst and Kingsland get high level platforms as well. I know that Lyndhurst Station was mentioned. Clifton and Passaic would be good stations for high level platforms. Those stations are on curves though.

The stations on the M&E in the Oranges, Maplewood, and Millburn should have had their high level platforms constructed a while ago. Several people get off trains there and the dwell times can be very long.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:56 pm Hopefully when Gateway is finished, the RVL can run all the way to the Lehigh Valley Region. I would try to get it as far as either Bethlehem or Allentown. I don't know much about Glen Gardner or Hampton to give my view about extending the RVL out there. It's a shame that NJT stopped running to Phillipsburg? Any reason why the ridership was low?

It would be nice for high level platforms to be built at Bay Head Station. Just remember that that platforms are on a curve. However, there should be enough room to build them. Belmar and Spring Lake should have gotten their high level platforms before Elberon did because both Belmar and Spring Lake Stations see more riders than Elberon. Elberon probably has some good ridership given that it's serves the south end of Long Branch and parts of Ocean Twp.

More stations on the RVL should get high level platforms. I agree with the list of RVL stations there. Bound Brook, Dunellen, Bridgewater, Fanwood, and Raritan all have their current platforms on straightaways and see high ridership.

On the Bergen County Line, I agree about Rutherford. Not only is it on a straightaway. It draws in healthy ridership from not only Rutherford but from surrounding towns although the part of Lyndhurst that is closest to Rutherford is where the two Main Line stations are. It would be nice to have both Lyndhurst and Kingsland get high level platforms as well. I know that Lyndhurst Station was mentioned. Clifton and Passaic would be good stations for high level platforms. Those stations are on curves though.

The stations on the M&E in the Oranges, Maplewood, and Millburn should have had their high level platforms constructed a while ago. Several people get off trains there and the dwell times can be very long.
Ridership, money,. NJ Transit had it as a money loser (the re-extension to Phillipsburg began in 1976 under Conrail) and wanted to save the $1.25-$1.5MM a year then it would cost ($3.2-$3.8MM today) to run the service. At the time Glen Gardner had nearly no one, Hampton and Phillipsburg about a dozen. Nowadays I think there would be more at Hampton and Glen Gardner purely because the closer accessibility to Washington borough and NJ 31. High Bridge lacks easy accessibility, meaning the best stop is really Annandale and even then, there's argument for a long drive to Raritan. Phillipsburg will make a good destination someday, but the track is maintained up to Ludlow-Asbury and service to Hampton and Glen Gardner would make a good start. They tried to get Allentown and Bethlehem to invest the money and now with the casinos, Bethlehem would make a lot of sense. However, we have to take it one step at a time. The fact that NJ Transit keeps things through Glen Gardner and Hampton up to date is the path of least resistance/problems.

Elberon was high-leveled at the time because of the 1988 fire that took out the CNJ depot, but they didn't start construction until 1993 and at that point, high-levels were required. Just timing based on tragedy. It's not that they expected Elberon to be quicker, but it would end up being that way. In retrospect, Spring Lake & Belmar would've been ahead of Elberon on a normal schedule. However, changes happen. Bay Head, you have limited room, but it's doable on one side. I do support the idea that all termini are HLP stops (meaning High Bridge, Raritan, Suffern, Waldwick, Bay Head, Hackettstown, Lake Hopatcong would all need upgrades).

Millburn's problem is that they made all those changes in 1987, when there was no ADA of 1990 to be used. For Maplewood, they'll have to go with the Ridgewood approach to figure out how to high-level it, and even that it won't be easy. All the Oranges (or at least the main 4), will be a little tougher.