Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Hawaiitiki » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:46 am

http://hudsoncountyview.com/prieto-16b- ... expansion/

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) says that the $16 billion, eight-year Transportation Trust Fund plan that was announced hours ago includes details to expand the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to North Bergen and southern Bergen County.


Don't know if anybody has posted this yet. This is an elected official (super trustworthy I'm sure) confirming that the new gas tax will indeed fund the HBLR to Englewood Hospital. I think this is amazing news, 10 years later than it should have been but still great news.

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby alewifebp » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:02 pm

They just updated the web site today with the full SDEIS. A public hearing is scheduled on April 24 in Englewood.

http://northernbranchcorridor.com/docs.html

It's more or less a housekeeping type of release. A couple of changes here and there about station locations and parking lots, etc. However, a few bigger topics were discussed.

First, they were very emphatic that this would not go to Tenafly. The preferred alternative is to go to Englewood Hospital, and not end it at Route 4 as some earlier alternatives had mentioned. In fact, they seemed to go out of the way to mention that they will not go to Tenafly, given the local opposition. They are also going for a full two track operation all the way through Englewood.

New cost estimates are at $1.2 billion.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Hawaiitiki » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:59 pm

Great news about the full length two-track operation. What strikes me, which I'm sure is nothing new, is really the amount of property acquisition that has to go on at a number of station locations. Particularly in Ridgefield, Pal Park, and Englewood Route 4. I have to imagine that a significant portion of the project costs are coming from land acquisition, and station/parking deck construction. Because $1.2b for (re)building 7 miles of track on a existing ROW is pretty steep.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:45 pm

What is really a shame is why the line beyond Englewood is being ignored. I know about the opposition from Tenafly, but I remember reading in one of the local papers that other northern valley mayors like Closter & Norwood/Northvale, etc, were in favor of the light rail coming to their towns. But as I recall those towns were never considered from the beginning. Anyhow what will become of what's left of the line north of Englewood?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby SemperFidelis » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Rail trail...
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby alewifebp » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:45 pm

The cost for land acquisition is pretty cheap in terms of the entire project cost, at $49 million.

The big costs are track and guideway (including bridges I assume, and including new guideway needed in North Bergen) of $193 million, and LRV's at $155 million. Stations are $119 million, and the rest is a lot of other related work needed for the 10 mile project.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:23 am

SemperFidelis has the right take.

That said, we'll keep trying to get north of Englewood -- once we get to Englewood. It's been a long slog -- a marathon, as we often say -- for us at NJ-ARP.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby SemperFidelis » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:55 am

Mr. Bowen,

I wish you luck in your efforts. It seems so damned shortsighted to cut the line short of another, well established and prosperous downtown. I guess that's Jersey politics for you.

It is too bad that there is no way in hell it would ever go as far north as it should, to a park and ride not far from the Tappan Zee. With decent scheduling and passing sidings, an express to Hoboken and a transfer to PATH could actually be time competitive.

While you're aboard the forum, has there been any talk anywhere (aside from here) of using the old Greenwood Lake Branch (Lower Boonton Line) east of Montclair as an extension of the City Subway? It seems an obvious move, especially going at least as far as Bloomfield.

Best of luck, sir. Good to see you posting again. I always enjoy your work when you write for Railway Age.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby lensovet » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:33 pm

wow, this project lives on! but where's the money for it going to come from? I thought NJT was broke?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby alewifebp » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:30 pm

I went to the public hearing on Monday. Pretty packed house, and there seemed to be a little more positive interest in the project than there was at the hearing many years ago. There seems to be some concerns about the night time need for separation for freight traffic and the need to run those trains between 1:30 and 5:00 AM. Given the freight traffic on this line, that shouldn't be a big problem or showstopper though. I do wonder if the freight customers remaining will even continue shipping via rail with those hours if they are not 24 hour operations.

While no one said it directly, I did hear some people some elected officials that they were confident that they could get the money. Part of that is the qualification for FTA funding no doubt.
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NJ-ARP: Concur with alewifebp.

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:40 am

That's the sense we got from the gathering as well; Alewife compiles a good overall take of the meeting, including the part about funding. (Our thanks to him.)

NJ-ARP, per standard, put in its two cents during the hearing, but as support grows for the project we're adjusting our own role accordingly.
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