Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby GojiMet86 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:54 pm

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/nj ... ail-route/


NJ Transit OKs new light rail route

February 15, 2018
Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor


NJ Transit has chosen a route for its expansion of its light rail network that will enable the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to finally live up to its name.

In a unanimous vote, the agency’s Board of Directors approved the proposed alignment of the HBLR for the first time into Bergen County. Since opening in 2000 operations have been limited to Hudson County.

Original cost estimates were $800-900 million. No details were provided on funding.

The vote approves selection of the “Locally Preferred Alternative” required to complete the federal environmental review process. It also authorizes the submission of the new route to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees for inclusion in their Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan.

The action also enables NJT to begin design and engineering activities when the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration is completed. The agency gave no timeline for that.

The selected route consists of a 10-mile two-track extension from its current terminus at Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City north to the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, generally along CSX Transportation’s Northern Branch running track. Plans include construction of seven stations in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and three in Englewood, along with parking for more than 2,700 vehicles.

Service is proposed to operate from 5-10 a.m. with six-minute headway during the peak period and 15-minute headway off-peak. NJT estimates average weekday daily ridership of 12,370 passengers by 2030.



Link to the map:
http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/d ... rridor.pdf

Link to the relevent documents:
http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/

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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Sid Farkus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:20 am

Surprised the Northern Branch never became a full commuter line running in the line’s entirety. The Northern Valley lacks any commuter rail line, and this line runs through the heart of multiple towns that house many commuters into NYC.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby pumpers » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:34 pm

7 stops in 10 miles. I guess they needed all that for local support. What is the proposed schedule time from Tonnelle Ave (existing end) up to Englewood Hospital?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby rr503 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 pm

pumpers wrote:7 stops in 10 miles. I guess they needed all that for local support. What is the proposed schedule time from Tonnelle Ave (existing end) up to Englewood Hospital?


With LRT acceleration, that's totally OK. Those things will easily hit 40 (if not more) in between stops.

Also, remember that we live in the age of TOD, so the more stations there are, the more opportunities there are for densified near-station developments -- and therefore ridership/value creation.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby MaRoFu » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:33 pm

It's kinda sad that towns such as Cresskill, Demarest, and Closter were not considered in the light rail extension... And now it seems less likely these towns will ever get any service... (Thanks, Tenafly!)

Another thing that is sad is that no one in NJ Transit considered building a light rail branch to Edgewater using the tunnel... I went there today and holy moly! They are in desperate need of a solution to their congestion problem, and a light rail is the only option.

As for Tenafly, just let them wallow in their car smog for now...

And by the way, is it me or is the station in Palisades Park quite far from the main part of town?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:01 pm

I agree 100% that the “Northern Valley” portion of the line needs service too! Why the northern end of the branch was not included is beyond me. As for Tenafly NJT should just have made the extension all the way to Northvale and just ran through Tenafly without stopping there. Too much bending to nimbys will...
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:44 pm

Palisades Park station is south of the site of the old Erie station. Not sure why the old station wasn't used, but alas.

As for the north of Englewood argument, the NIMBYs in Tenafly aside, did you really expect Demarest to support said project? They are just as rich and probably just as willing to fight.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby alewifebp » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:23 am

MaRoFu wrote:Another thing that is sad is that no one in NJ Transit considered building a light rail branch to Edgewater using the tunnel... I went there today and holy moly! They are in desperate need of a solution to their congestion problem, and a light rail is the only option.


They did. At the time, Edgewater did not want it. Talk about shortsightedness. Although I'm sure that Bergenline Avenue residents appreciate the current routing.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:34 am

Roadgeek Adam wrote:As for the north of Englewood argument, the NIMBYs in Tenafly aside, did you really expect Demarest to support said project? They are just as rich and probably just as willing to fight.


I distinctly remember reading in one of the local newspapers that Northvale and Closter were in favor of the project. Not sure about Demerast and Cresskill. But still, their was documented interest in this project north of Englewood.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:12 pm

airman00 wrote:
Roadgeek Adam wrote:As for the north of Englewood argument, the NIMBYs in Tenafly aside, did you really expect Demarest to support said project? They are just as rich and probably just as willing to fight.


I distinctly remember reading in one of the local newspapers that Northvale and Closter were in favor of the project. Not sure about Demerast and Cresskill. But still, their was documented interest in this project north of Englewood.


Closter and Northvale would support it, but you still need Cresskill, Tenafly, Norwood and Demarest's support. We already know Tenafly hates it, short of elevating the tracks through town.

Maybe some day they'll change their mind, but I seriously doubt that will ever happen.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:53 pm

Forget about Tenafly and just bypass them! One town does NOT get to decide the entire fate of the line north of Englewood. As far as the other towns I’m pretty sure Norwood was also in favor of rail service. Don’t know about the last two Demerast and Cresskill. But remember... CSX rain trains through Tenafly for years and there was nothing they could do about it.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:59 pm

airman00 wrote:Forget about Tenafly and just bypass them! One town does NOT get to decide the entire fate of the line north of Englewood. As far as the other towns I’m pretty sure Norwood was also in favor of rail service. Don’t know about the last two Demerast and Cresskill. But remember... CSX rain trains through Tenafly for years and there was nothing they could do about it.


The trains still have to go through Tenafly to get to the northern towns. They were concerned about the trains blocking their grade crossings. How does not having a pair of stations satisfy their problems?
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby airman00 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:34 pm

It was more than just traffic issues. They were also complaining that the train might bring in undesirable people and crime, and also bring down property values. Trust me light rail is not going bring in crime and bad guys.

And also forgive me Mr. Adam but I have little sympathy for rich people complaining about property values.

I say build the light rail right to the end of the line in New York State. (Right at oak tree road in orangeburgh) Call that small NYS portion the “Rockland Extension” and have active stations at EVERY town along the way EXCEPT Tenafly. Just bypass the rich people. Don’t want a train, don’t worry we’re just passing thru. NJT is a railroad protected by Fra rules. As a railroad the only agency they need to inform of a project is the DEP. Informing Tenafly is a nice friendly gesture and a show of good faith but not legally required. NJT does NOT need Tenafly approval to extent light rail on an existing rail line running thru their town.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:29 pm

airman00 wrote:It was more than just traffic issues. They were also complaining that the train might bring in undesirable people and crime, and also bring down property values. Trust me light rail is not going bring in crime and bad guys.

And also forgive me Mr. Adam but I have little sympathy for rich people complaining about property values.

I say build the light rail right to the end of the line in New York State. (Right at oak tree road in orangeburgh) Call that small NYS portion the “Rockland Extension” and have active stations at EVERY town along the way EXCEPT Tenafly. Just bypass the rich people. Don’t want a train, don’t worry we’re just passing thru. NJT is a railroad protected by Fra rules. As a railroad the only agency they need to inform of a project is the DEP. Informing Tenafly is a nice friendly gesture and a show of good faith but not legally required. NJT does NOT need Tenafly approval to extent light rail on an existing rail line running thru their town.


I am aware of their biased views on the residents of Hudson County. That one they have no argument on.

As for the rich part, they have money and ability to move politicians. Plus, Peter Rustin is still mayor. He's still in charge, no service in Tenafly.
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Re: Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

Postby MaRoFu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:59 pm

I also remember at some point that the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail was supposed to go to Secaucus, the Meadowlands, and Edgewater in fact. I wondered why the Meadowlands route was likely cancelled, but I decided to try planning a route from Tonnelle Ave to the Meadowlands. The only major obstacle I see is the low high tension wires west of the CSX tracks, and I have no idea how to get around that. Anyways, here are the stations:

Meadowlands Exposition Center
Harmon Meadows
Paterson Plank Rd
Meadowlands Sport Complex (pathway to hotels south of Rt. 3 and Mall)

As you can imagine, this alignment would require tons of bridges and land aquisition (including building light rail along the Rt. 3 bridges!), which will make it a very expensive route. Add the high tension wires and it just seems like one big pipe dream.

As for the Secaucus route, it would run via the Harismus and the cut. Here are the stops:

Hamilton Park (at Jersey Avenue)
Palisade Avenue
Five Corners <Journal Square>
Secaucus Junction

This route seems a lot more viable than the Meadowlands Route, although I must wonder how the light rail will be able to squish its way through Thomas Gangemi Drive in order to reach the embankment.

And now to discuss how the Edgewater route would work. A viaduct will be needed to head along the right of way to the tunnel from future 91st Street station, but it should be a minor obstacle. As for the stations:

Anderson Avenue (underground)
Edgewater (elevator to Gorge Road)

The tunnel repair may be expensive, but I think this route is the most viable of the three. As I said before, Edgewater is having a problem with congestion and this would really help them out. (the tunnel vent needs to go though)

And also, I think the ticket validation's duration span may need to be readjusted to 90 minutes, considering how long some of these travel times are becoming. This would be necessary if the light rail ever has through service to Staten Island. Either that or they can run Limited Express services that skip almost all stations at certain parts (Example: Edgewater to Staten Island, local through Staten Island and Northern Branch/Edgewater Tunnel but stops at only a few stations outside of those areas)

I know this is not related to the Northern Branch somewhat, but these are also extensions that could be done to make the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, truly a big player in Bergen County (not the Secaucus one though).

TL;DR: HBLR to Meadowlands is an obvious pipe dream, but Secaucus or Edgewater extensions are very possible.

And by the way, any idea on when the Northern Branch and Bayfront extensions will break ground? Info on Cresskill and Demarest's opinion on the HBLR is also appreciated.
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