Tommy Meehan wrote:Is anyone seriously arguing riders on the former Erie Lackawanna lines are going to demand the Raritan Line riders not have one-seat service, that they should cancel the new service, until they, the former EL lines, get it too? I don't see that happening.Umm. No. Where did anyone even suggest that?
Tommy Meehan wrote: The fact is, NJ Transit has already spent a huge amount of money constructing Secaucus Jct. This gives the Bergen, Main and Pascack riders a much better connection to Midtown Manhattan than they had previously. (PATH from Hoboken.) It's a much better connection than the one Raritan Line riders use, changing at Newark. I've used both and Secaucus is much superior. And it's well-used. On weekends the Main-Bergen trains I've ridden from Hoboken are pretty much empty until they get to Secaucus Jct. Then they fill up.That also wouldn't give them as good of a connection as a one seat ride. Long Branch was improved when they extended electrification from South Amboy and Matawan. Does that mean passengers from west of Long Branch don't' still want a one seat ride since Long Branch was modified and transferring there is superior to Matawan an.or South Amboy?
Additionally, the Raritan Valley Line trains were never supposed to operating into NYP unless ARC was built (and even that was stretch.) This is because the NEC Transportation Plan-Proposed Track Configuration (1998) called for Raritan trains to operate to Secaucus and use the planned layover facility there. Indeed, the other plan was for passengers to have a same platform transfer outside of Harrison as mentioned in the Raritan Valley upgrade delayed thread.
Why do I think this matters?
Please allow a brief fair use quote from Doblin: Right locomotives on the wrong tracks:
The track profile at Secaucus is set up to accommodate the Bergen Loop. That little stub track at the west end of the platform is there, waiting for the connection. As the writer of the article mentioned, you don't really need ARC or Gateway to build the loop and you can't even say "the Raritan Valley passengers transfer at NWK if you start offering one seat rides.
This week, the transit agency unveiled one of these new locomotives. Despite the death of ARC, it decided to go ahead with the purchase of 35 of them.
NJ Transit’s logic is that these locomotives can be used on existing lines. That is true. But if NJ Transit was committed to locomotives that, for want of a better expression, could go both ways, why wasn’t it equally committed to tracks that could go both ways? A rail loop is needed to connect the Bergen, Main and Pascack Valley lines to the tracks that go into Manhattan. If NJ Transit has the locomotives to take once-diesel-only lines into Manhattan, why not build the loop?
New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey each were committed to $3 billion ARC investments. While the fed’s $3 billion was project-specific, the state controlled its own investment and controls half of the voting power of the Port Authority. I don’t have a clue of what it costs to build a rail loop, but I would venture, it isn’t $6 billion.
No doubt, NJ Transit will counter that capacity inside Penn Station is maxed out. It shares platforms with Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad, and it shares limited tunnel slots with Amtrak. This is a zero-sum game where commuters in places like Summit and Millburn get some and commuters in Ridgewood and Clifton get zero.
There aren’t any new slots at Penn Station. But commuters on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines are no less worthy of a coveted one-seat ride. If NJ Transit is buying locomotives for rail connections that do not exist, why not make those connections happen?
I e-mailed an NJ Transit spokeswoman, asking whether it could take away two or three morning slots from all other midtown-direct trains and offer very limited one-seat ride options on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines if a loop were constructed.
“Our Raritan Valley Line customers transfer at Newark Penn Station for service into Penn Station New York,” was the response. I replied that it was very interesting information, but it did not answer my question. A few hours later, I received this:
“In the fourth quarter of FY10: We carried 46,650 passenger trips on Midtown Direct Service to New York. We carried 8,900 passenger trips on Main/Bergen Line trains into New York. We carried 1,800 passenger trips on Pascack Valley Line trains into New York. With limited resources, we provide the service where there is the demand.”
Again interesting, but it isn’t relevant. Fewer commuters on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines go into Manhattan on NJ Transit, but maybe it has nothing to do with “demand” but rather that they have to make a train transfer in Secaucus or continue on to Hoboken to reach Manhattan by the PATH or ferry.
It’s a conundrum commuters on the Morris and Essex line don’t have. I may have missed one scanning a train schedule online, but I counted 17 midtown-direct trains on the Morris and Essex line arriving in Penn Station between 5:40 a.m. and 8:58 a.m. Is it asking too much to take a few of those slots and spread them among the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines during the morning rush?
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We haven't even touched on the Bay Head passengers yet. Nor have we touched on the Boonton Line. What is to stop the communities along those lines from asking for a one seat ride? They don't even need a loop. All they need is a few slots and an Alp-45...and they may soon call for both.
Which is why I say: If I rode the Raritan Line, I would quietly accept what is given while hoping for more because there are only so many slots at NYP and as LIRR42 mentioned, the low moans and rumblings could break out into a full shouting match and the Raritan riders as the new kids on the block will have more to lose.
I want my road foreman!