Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby SightUnseen » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:36 pm

If there's anything that could possible hinder the Northern branch from happening, it's $$$. NJT is prepared to deal with NIMBY's, but you can't do anything if you don't have the $$$ to follow through on the project. If they can't secure funding for the Northern Branch then going BRT might be a viable option simply due to cost(though I don't think that's the case). If anything I wish NJ ARP or some other group should take a cue from something a Boston group did to leverage the current expansion of the green line using the additional pollution and traffic burdens due to the Big Dig project
Leverage the pollution and traffic effects of the Pulaski Skyway or some other major roadway construction projects to expansion/extend light rail.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby 25Hz » Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:23 am

kilroy wrote:Most suburbanites are afraid the riff-raff from the city will jump a train to rob their house. Now way "those people" would ever steal a car and drive to their home to rob them.


Any built up area, be it a city or series of townships needs to have transit to be sustainable. Imagine NYC with no rail at all. It would be a huge mess & people would go to where its easier to get around. I guess what i'm really getting at, is that there seems to be an ideological divide where some people simply do not see rail transport as worth having for any number of reasons they think are fact, and the people like some of us that see rails as a high capacity vehicle for getting around without having to use your car for the entire trip.

I'm going to reference my trip to canada for this one...... I got picked up at 1 am and dropped off at trenton. I then paid 68 dollars for a one way ticket to niagara falls, ontario, from trenton. At around 05:30 after waiting 4 hours in a cold station (it was in the single digits to teens outside), i hopped the train to NYP. I then found the check in desk used for the maple leaf & adirondack, checked in, then got in line. Canadian bound people boarded first, in the amfleet 2 car at the front of the train. I put my stuff on the racks, helped one person do same, then sat and got my railfan on looking out the window & taking photos/vid for the next however many hours. The trip was relaxing, the view was amazing, and i had a great time.

Fast forward one week later, time to drive back to levittown (where my girlfriend at the time lived, she was visiting home over winter break). We leave around 11:30 PM, and we stop at tim hortons in cortland, where i take over driving the rest of the 226 miles. 4 hours of throughway/turnpike driving later, we arrive and we both go to sleep.

I would take the train anywhere over driving. No stops for gas, bathrooms and food are on board and reasonable. Some people cannot even process such a trip and would torture themselves flying a intercity shuttle (the kind that are often delayed & constantly bumpy due to lower altitude route). How are you gonna convince those people that think trains are still steam powered with Mr. Conductor that the light rail is needed? You gotta sell it to them, since it is their tax dollars.

Transit agencies need salespeople here, because we are train stupid. We had crumbling service since 1948, who in their right mind would ride a system totally alien to them due to how much service was lost since ww2? It's a mental and emotional thing, not a logic thing.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Iron Horse » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:35 pm

A little light at the end of the proverbial tunnel:

Fox’s comments were in response to reporters’ inquiries after an hour-and-20-minute confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he said he supports building a new tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City, extending the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Englewood, and stressed the need to fund the Transportation Trust Fund.


http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/christies_nominee_for_transportation_commissioner_does_not_rule_out_increasing_gas_tax.html
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Ah, some money!

Postby Iron Horse » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:28 pm

http://www.northjersey.com/news/sweeney-wants-trust-fund-fix-to-boost-transportation-spending-to-2b-1.1100241

And he said he’s pushing for a funding solution that would cover the long-planned extensions of both the Hudson-Bergen and Glassboro-Camden light rail lines, two projects that up until now have been considered to be in competition for the same pot of money.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Iron Horse » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:53 pm

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby amtrakowitz » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:45 am

25Hz wrote:What can you say, people are too stupid to know what's good for them.

Said every totalitarian socialist ever.
Defiant wrote:… it seems like most of the US suburban dwellers are opposed to expanding train/light rail. That is what is holding up a lot of train expansion projects, such as MOM, California High speed rail and many others. That is why the "esteemed" governor of this state was reelected after canceling a historic project to provide more inter Hudson rail capacity

Wrong and wrong.
  • The ridiculously-inflated costs of these projects is what is holding up things (last estimate for the Northern Branch extension was well over $82 million per mile, on an extant right of way no less—that is four times the cost of an average brand-new high-speed railroad in France). Never mind overregulation out of the federal government that does not permit intermixing of "light" rail (which is not all that light weight-wise) with the "general railway network" even though it has happened in the past with no ill results.
  • Time to let ARC go. It was an extremely flawed project, whose additional costs would have further sunk the state deeper into debt for decades to come. It also would have provided absolutely no new capacity, would have allowed for no travel to Sunnyside Yard, would have been no use to Amtrak (or to NJT for accessing the "upper level" of Penn), and the costs would have shot sky-high as they have with the MTA's equally-flawed East Side Access (which was supposed to have been open five years ago). And oh yeah: no light rail would have used it ever. (Why didn't NJT think of light rail in terms of "tram-train"?)
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby railtrailbiker » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:11 pm

Will CSX freight stop running on the Northern Branch once light rail service begins? If so, those customers now being served will need to resort to truck service, I guess?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby CLamb » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:42 pm

If I recall properly the proposal is for heavy rail service to run outside of light rail hours--like the River Line.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby MickD » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:26 pm

Won't be a problem any time soon...
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby railtrailbiker » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:50 am

I guess there are no plans for 24 hour light rail service then.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby SemperFidelis » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:48 pm

Not to seem too negative...but the slow progress on the development of the line along with the continuing erosion of carload freight traffic in New Jersey it may no longer even be an issue by the time the light rail line is ready to be operated.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:38 pm

This project won't happen anytime soon. NJT is a state agency and the state is broke. You do the math. Futhermore, it was reported in another thread, that CSX severed the line in Tenafly, NJ by removing two sections of rail and placing them off to the side and criss-crossing two ties in an "X" fashion to mark the current end-of-track. So the northern-most end of the line is now OOS. Now I know the northern end of the line was not being considered for light rail service, (which I think is a BAD decision, but that's a whole other issue), but still severing the line is just another nail in the coffin.

Add to this, last I heard there are only 3 freight customers left on the line. And the food oils place in Englewood, (supreme oil?) is the sole northern most customer left and the only reason the line currently survives up to Englewood. If not for the oils place, which thankfully is a big customer getting 5 day a week service (I think) CSX might've severed the line much further south.

So put all this together and a once great line, barely survives on it's last legs. CSX might beat NJ to the punch and finish off the line before this project can even get off paper. Just my opinion is all.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:05 pm

I'm surprised CSX hasn't offered up the line for sale yet to NJ; they have shown themselves to be eager to divest light traffic lines while retaining overhead rights. I assume the portion north of the state line in New York has been formally abandoned, as it's now trails, with CSX not retaining ownership? CSX would have to go through the formal abandonment process and NJ would have a right to rail or landbank it, or file for interim trail use.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Hawaiitiki » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:12 pm

airman00 wrote:Futhermore, it was reported in another thread, that CSX severed the line in Tenafly, NJ by removing two sections of rail and placing them off to the side and criss-crossing two ties in an "X" fashion to mark the current end-of-track. So the northern-most end of the line is now OOS. Now I know the northern end of the line was not being considered for light rail service, (which I think is a BAD decision, but that's a whole other issue), but still severing the line is just another nail in the coffin.


Sad to hear we'll likely never see a freight train make its way to Closter or Northvale again. That line survived way longer than many lines of similar pedigree. (e.g. through NIMBY residential areas, no passengers service in 50 years, hardly any freight customers, no through traffic, fairly redundant (to PVL and CSX River Line)).

airman00 wrote:Now I know the northern end of the line was not being considered for light rail service, (which I think is a BAD decision, but that's a whole other issue), but still severing the line is just another nail in the coffin.


Its just not worth it unfortunately. I'm sure they could pull decent ridership if they initiated some sort of express service because if they stopped at every station between Closter and Hoboken, it would take an hour and half. But also, these are NIMBY heavy areas where double tracking for Light Rail would be especially difficult. But as with Tenafly, if NJT buys the ROW, has the cash, NJT can pretty much tell everybody "hey sorry you bought a house next to a railway" problem is, cash aint there.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby granton junction » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:10 am

The section of rail removed and ties across the tracks are at Englewood Stn (not Tenafly) between Palisade Ave and Demarest Ave. This to me indicates that the line is (officially) out-of-service north of Englewood. For many reasons, as we have discussed, it is highly unlikely that HBLR will ever go beyond its present terminus at Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen. But who knows...the future is always an unknown. The food oil place in Englewood is the only major shipper left. CSX goes up to Englewood M-F. There was a derailment in Englewood recently, and this was covered extensively in the media. I think that the next logical step will be for CSX to abandon and pull up the rail north of Englewood, but I have heard absolutely nothing on that. Stay tuned!
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