• Phillipsburg Rail Service—Four Years, $90 Million

  • 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

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  by Mister Midtown
 
finsuburbia wrote:Requiring the 19 mile drive to Annandale from Phillipsburg leaves anyone who does not have access to a car out in the cold.
If they are "out in the cold" now, and we do not see a United Nations-type humanitarian food convoy heading to Phillipsburg anytime soon, then I do not see this as a realistic concern.

Until the whole Northern New Jersey Region obtains a mass transit system comparable to New York City's, with its 722 miles of subway lines, countless bus routes, taxi and van service galore, and even a few horse-drawn vehicles, driving is a requirement in our area. If someone does not have a car they generally have bigger transportation concerns than the availibility of train service within walking distance of their homes.

As I stated in another post: A train ride to Newark or New York does not help me, and millions of other New Jersey residents, with the schlep to the grocery store four miles away, and it will not get our kids to sports practice. An automobile is necessary, and we should not lament this fact.

Phillipsburg residents who desire the service of the Raritan Valley Line should drive or move closer to the ROW.

  by Irish Chieftain
 
As I stated in another post: A train ride to Newark or New York does not help me, and millions of other New Jersey residents, with the schlep to the grocery store four miles away
Leave false discussions out of this, please. The railroad is not meant to be the be-all-and-end-all of transportation any more than it was meant to be such at its beginnings and during its heyday. If you can't stick to the topic, why don't you ignore it?

  by northjerseybuff
 
Hey Mister Midtown.."if you build it, they will come"
As for people moving to the ROW if they wanna use it..with that logic..why don't you move closer to the grocery story!
I think you are trying to personalize the service..to if it suits your personal needs. This rail service might not be the best for everyones individual personal desires..buts its better then nothing..or a car ride on rt78
  by henry6
 
But Irish,

Mr. Midtown has made an interesting point often overlooked by us here (maybe because we are railfans). North Jersey's public transportation system is very loosley defined today over the state with the more urban areas being served well. Along Routes 78 and 80 however, it is different. It is not like Times Square with buses, taxi's, subways, etc., to get you around. But what is there? Should a resident expect services? To what degree? Who should provide that service? To what degree? In the past there were more private bus lines, taxi companies, trolley lines, and train services that allowed one to travel around the state even if not rapidly. These services dwindled into oblivion because highways were built and every family was supposed to have one or more cars. Planners today are wrestling with this very issue. In this thread the question becomes: what should NJT do to address the needs of its constituants? And the answer doesn't have to be rail. It is just that we discuss rail here.

  by Irish Chieftain
 
Along Routes 78 and 80 however, it is different
I'm aware of the situation along Interstates 78 and 80. Comparing those areas with Times Square is apples/oranges; but it does not negate the need for passenger rail through those areas.
In this thread the question becomes: what should NJT do to address the needs of its constituants? And the answer doesn't have to be rail
You yourself have said repeatedly that the state of New Jersey is maxed out as far as building more highways. And guess what?—more highways is the sole alternative to rebuilding the rail service that went away in 1984. And what cuts to the quick is that I-78 was built westward at the expense of rail—and that driving to the extant outlying RVL stations is not feasible, no matter how much increase of service reaches High Bridge, and near-impossible on a snowy day like today (at the time of writing).

  by Mister Midtown
 
northjerseybuff wrote:Hey Mister Midtown.."if you build it, they will come"
The Ramsey and MSU Park and Rides disprove the "if you build it, they will come" assertion.
northjerseybuff wrote:As for people moving to the ROW if they wanna use it..with that logic..why don't you move closer to the grocery story!
My car makes this unnecessary. Four miles counts as "pretty close" in my book.
northjerseybuff wrote:I think you are trying to personalize the service..to if it suits your personal needs.
Not really. I live close to another proposed rail route, and I am not too excited about the prospect of the service. As a matter of fact, I wish the NJT bus route through my town would go away.
northjerseybuff wrote:This rail service might not be the best for everyones individual personal desires..buts its better then nothing..or a car ride on rt78
If a car ride on route 78 is such a horrible thing than why is there so much traffic on it? This assertion is akin to Yogi Bera allegedly saying "No one goes there anymore. It is too crowded."

I have yet to be swayed. An extension of RVL service to Phillipsburg will be about as successful as the M&E extension to Hackettstown was. If Phillipsburg residents needed to get to and from the NJT service area they most likely would not have moved to Phillipsburg to begin with.

  by Irish Chieftain
 
If a car ride on route 78 is such a horrible thing than why is there so much traffic on it?
Because there is no train.

And the reason why people are living so far west is due to property taxes versus house prices, as well as quality of life.
The Ramsey and MSU Park and Rides disprove the "if you build it, they will come" assertion
Sounds like you have to learn the difference between opening stations on lines already in service and extension of rail service.
I live close to another proposed rail route, and I am not too excited about the prospect of the service. As a matter of fact, I wish the NJT bus route through my town would go away
You are not clear on this matter. Want to clarify? Sounds like pure emotionalism on your part.
I have yet to be swayed
Nobody's trying to force you out of your car. Reopening rail service is not tantamount to saying to everyone "you must use this instead of your car".
An extension of RVL service to Phillipsburg will be about as successful as the M&E extension to Hackettstown was
What do you mean by "was"? The line is still in operation, and the trains are not empty when running to the end of the line. If the line had NEC-like frequency and the same amount of passengers, then you would have the semblance of a point. And what is "success" in your estimation?

  by MudLake
 
I see two basic questions that drive these types of decisions:
  1. Of those driving east from Phillipsburg, where are they going?
  2. How long a of rail commute are passengers willing to make?
It's hard to know how many of those going east on I-78 are candidates for a rail commute without some good studies. I have a hunch that few are actually ending up in Manhattan, but that's only a hunch. Of course, that's not the only feasible destination for a rail commuter, but transfers have to be logical.

Also, the farther the distance from the terminal, the greater the real need for express service. Could the RVL handle express or semi-express service from Phillipsburg?

  by blockline4180
 
Mister Midtown,

For you to say that Hackettstown service is not successful is a bunch of bologna!! I commute from Hackettstown regularly and a good 20-25 people get on the 8:10 AM train...Most of these people commute to and from stops along both the M&E/Montclair boonton lines.. Now, maybe the market won't be there for stops along the RVL, but I still think a P'burg service via Washington has pontential to grab riders who want to travel to workplaces in and around Dover, Boonton and Morristown.

  by northjerseybuff
 
Sounds like we have a NIMBY on this site.
Success is not immediate with every service-Ramsey Rt17 is growing. I was just there an hour ago. 2 levels are now being utilized

Not really. I live close to another proposed rail route, and I am not too excited about the prospect of the service. As a matter of fact, I wish the NJT bus route through my town would go away.
If a car ride on route 78 is such a horrible thing than why is there so much traffic on it? This assertion is akin to Yogi Bera allegedly saying "No one goes there anymore. It is too crowded."
I had to reread these 2 quotes..the first one is laughable..why don't the bus and rail go away? what else do you have?? well the answer is in your second quote about Rt78..you don't give people rail or bus alternatives..then all they have is the traffic!! you pretty much are stating YOU want traffic and no bus and no rail. What is your solution?
i could be really sarcastic here, but i'll play nice..i'll leave it at DOH!!!!
  by F3A
 
henry6 wrote:But Irish,

Mr. Midtown has made an interesting point often overlooked by us here (maybe because we are railfans). North Jersey's public transportation system is very loosley defined today over the state with the more urban areas being served well. Along Routes 78 and 80 however, it is different. It is not like Times Square with buses, taxi's, subways, etc., to get you around. But what is there? Should a resident expect services? To what degree? Who should provide that service? To what degree? In the past there were more private bus lines, taxi companies, trolley lines, and train services that allowed one to travel around the state even if not rapidly. These services dwindled into oblivion because highways were built and every family was supposed to have one or more cars. Planners today are wrestling with this very issue. In this thread the question becomes: what should NJT do to address the needs of its constituants? And the answer doesn't have to be rail. It is just that we discuss rail here.
I would have agreed with you...but you fail to realize that the rail routes were already failing before I-80 or I-78 were finished.

The reality of the matter is there is not enough capacity on either of the east-west interstates to handle the crush commuters from the spreading suburban developments.

If Mr. Midtown wands to drive...well...go ahead and knock yourself out. I train service was restore on the RVL to Allentown, I'm very sure that many people wouls use it.

  by nick11a
 
Somehow, I think MnE extension to Phillipsburg wouldn't do as well as RVL. RVL simply has a more direct route- plus, MnE would have to battle with the H02 and the H74? freight trains while on the RVL, they only have one freight train to West Portal here and there.

OK

  by henry6
 
OK. Comparing Time Sq. to Hunterdon Co. was more a comparison of people's conceptions of how they live. If you move to Bloomsbury you've got to realize that you aren't in the middle of Manhatten and can't expect teh same services. I think too many people do.

As for the rail services failing before 78 and 80: true. But it was a different time: rail passenger services were provided by private enterprise railroads with no assistance or planning by any government agencies; railroads were being taxed at a higher rate than other industries; the whole railroad structure, especially in the east, was eroding for many reasons; public moneies were being poured into highway construction projects (and not just the Eisenhower Interstate projects); Esso and Mobil and Texaco and Amaco, the BIG OIL COMPANIES, were the major advertisers on TV and in magazines along side the automobile manufacturers. The public wanted cars for independence and thus shunned the train.

Yes, I am a rail passenger advocate. Especially commuting along corridors like 78 and 80 and into and out of the major urban areas of Essex, Hudson and Bergen counties and NYC. (Likewise, in the southern part of the sate, Camden and Burlington counties and Philadelphia.) But I also believe that there are situations where public agencies have to work to design an integrated system intradependent upon itself. This discussion above indicates that is something to be considered. Tag: NJT you're it!

  by cjvrr
 
The article is really just a sales pitch by the developer to convince the locals that approving his development is in "their" best interest and that it "could" spur or increase the need for rail service. Perhaps he is trying to squash the arguments of any local NIMBYs.

It would be my guess that once he gets his approvals and sells the condo units he won't give a hoot about rail service.

blockline4180,

How many total riders are there coming from Hackettstown on any given day? The reason I ask is that 20-25 riders is not enough to justify that service IMHO. Do you know where most of the riders are coming from? In other words, Hackettstown proper, surrounding areas, PA?

In general an extension of the RVL line to some point in Bloomsbury or even close to the Route 78 / Route 22 interchange would be a big benefit and the lowest cost approach to extending rail service. It may even succeed in capturing a reasonable amount of commuters. But it will most likely not make a noticable difference in the traffic volumes on Route 78.

  by blockline4180
 
Chris,

I do not know how many daily commuters there are that get on the train in Hackettstown.. Sometimes I take the earlier train and I'd say 30-35 people, mainly commuters get on that train! So if I were to take a wild guess I'd say at least 90-100 daily riders get on in Hackettstown. That is just the morning. There is also afternoon and evening service from the station, which doesn't have as much ridership I'd imagine.
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