Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

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Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:07 am

I've heard of a few rider groups buying their own cars and having them attached to commuter trains. Why doesn't most every locomotive-hauled commuter train during rush hours have one?

Wouldn't there be a market for first class seats on commuter trains (at least to more affluent parts of NJ), and wouldn't NJT be able to generate some extra revenue by letting private groups attach a car to the ends of commuter trains? Perhaps that would make the trains longer than the platforms, but riders in the last car could just walk one car forward to board and exit.

What am I missing?
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:13 am

switching cost including mechanics to do HEP and air.
or hauling that piece of crap all day?
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:19 am

DutchRailnut wrote:switching cost including mechanics to do HEP and air.
or hauling that piece of crap all day?


Yes, the private groups would need to pay those costs. I'd guess that the billionaires who live in northern NJ, to the extent that they take public transportation, would be willing to pay them.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby n2cbo » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:23 am

SouthernRailway wrote:I've heard of a few rider groups buying their own cars and having them attached to commuter trains. Why doesn't most every locomotive-hauled commuter train during rush hours have one?

Wouldn't there be a market for first class seats on commuter trains (at least to more affluent parts of NJ), and wouldn't NJT be able to generate some extra revenue by letting private groups attach a car to the ends of commuter trains? Perhaps that would make the trains longer than the platforms, but riders in the last car could just walk one car forward to board and exit.

What am I missing?


Back in the day (1970's) there was the Jersey Shore Commuter Club that had a private car that ran on the North Jersey Coast Line. It had club seating, and had a bar and a bartender. The car was NOT equipped with HEP, so I'm not quite sure what happened to it (converted to HEP, Junked, Sold...).
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby NYS&W142Fan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:08 pm

n2cbo wrote:Back in the day (1970's) there was the Jersey Shore Commuter Club that had a private car that ran on the North Jersey Coast Line. It had club seating, and had a bar and a bartender. The car was NOT equipped with HEP, so I'm not quite sure what happened to it (converted to HEP, Junked, Sold...).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe or have been told that car is rotting away at the Holland Power Plant on the Bel Del.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby amtrakhogger » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:45 pm

Kind of related, when Amtrak still ran the Clockers, there was a "private" commuter group that had a daily charter PHL-NYP and return.
It was not a private coach but instead an Amtrak coach reserved for the group.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:27 pm

The corporate executives who could afford and might be attracted to such don't work the same schedule every day - they may arrive at typically the same time, but tend to work late and leave at varying times, as in a 50 to 60 hour work week. The far fewer population of club passengers would result in overcrowding regularly of a single car as statistics queuing theory would demonstrate.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby ThirdRail7 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:39 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:I've heard of a few rider groups buying their own cars and having them attached to commuter trains. Why doesn't most every locomotive-hauled commuter train during rush hours have one?

Wouldn't there be a market for first class seats on commuter trains (at least to more affluent parts of NJ), and wouldn't NJT be able to generate some extra revenue by letting private groups attach a car to the ends of commuter trains? Perhaps that would make the trains longer than the platforms, but riders in the last car could just walk one car forward to board and exit.

What am I missing?


You're missing the fact that NJT the annual fee to NJT in 2014 was $36,000. A round trip membership for the NJCL was $1200.00 a year which did not include rail fare. I can only imagine what the charge would be these days. Additionally, you'd likely have to pay switching fees in there is an equipment manipulation and what if your special car is a single level car and they sub a double decker or MU? Unless, you're guaranteed to be on the same train every day, I can't see it being worth it.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:36 pm

Comet II club car 5459 (built as 5759 in 1988) was possibly the last private commuter club in North America. 5459 was moved to Hoboken service in 2009 since all the Long Branch electric trains were now Multilevel equipment. Not sure of 5459's fate.

Back in the Lackawanna era, there were some clubs in electric MU fleet and may have been active into the early 80s.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby CNJGeep » Mon May 01, 2017 9:50 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:Comet II club car 5459 (built as 5759 in 1988) was possibly the last private commuter club in North America. 5459 was moved to Hoboken service in 2009 since all the Long Branch electric trains were now Multilevel equipment. Not sure of 5459's fate.

Back in the Lackawanna era, there were some clubs in electric MU fleet and may have been active into the early 80s.


There is one in Chicago, on one of the UP Lines.
As for 5459, it went swimming in Sandy and has not returned to service. The club has been dissolved.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby TDowling » Sun May 07, 2017 5:42 pm

Outrage from the public who utilize the trains. They most likely do not want their already numerous tax dollars going to funding a social club car for their wealthier counterparts.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby n2cbo » Sun May 07, 2017 9:53 pm

TDowling wrote:Outrage from the public who utilize the trains. They most likely do not want their already numerous tax dollars going to funding a social club car for their wealthier counterparts.


Whoa,... How does OWNING a private car equate to getting funding from Tax Dollars???
The club PAID the Penn Central and then Conrail and then NJ Transit a FEE for hauling the car (plus the members STILL had to pay the fare for each ride, or have a valid monthly commuter ticket) and they paid Amtrak a fee for servicing the car at Sunnyside Yard. (at least in the case of the Jersey Shore Commuter Club back in the '70s).
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon May 08, 2017 12:05 am

JSCC leased half of 5459 from NJT. When 5759 was rebuilt from a IIB to a IIM (5459) in 2003, JSCC funded part of the upgrades including improvements to the private club compartment and consulted with Alstom (the rebuilder) as well.
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Re: Why aren't there more private cars on commuter trains?

Postby TDowling » Mon May 08, 2017 6:21 am

n2cbo wrote:
TDowling wrote:Outrage from the public who utilize the trains. They most likely do not want their already numerous tax dollars going to funding a social club car for their wealthier counterparts.


Whoa,... How does OWNING a private car equate to getting funding from Tax Dollars???
The club PAID the Penn Central and then Conrail and then NJ Transit a FEE for hauling the car (plus the members STILL had to pay the fare for each ride, or have a valid monthly commuter ticket) and they paid Amtrak a fee for servicing the car at Sunnyside Yard. (at least in the case of the Jersey Shore Commuter Club back in the '70s).


At any rate, most people wealthy enough to afford a private car probably drive in to work or utilize their own yachts or helicopters ;)
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