The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby EuroStar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:54 am

CentralValleyRail wrote:I can raise it with the town of Wayne and see if they can go to NJT with the idea.. Wayne politics had a big part in the transit center. And I know of many people who have to ride the bus that would take the train in a heartbeat if it was direct and faster... Usually with things like this that are right in front of your face politicians and locals don't explore into the options. If presented with a viable option I think it would be worth a shot. And I know there will be a lot of backlash at me for the idea but I didn't make 6 figures on my own 7 figure startup by sitting and laughing at the idea...


More power to you if you are willing to bring it up to elected officials for consideration! If I lived in Wayne or further along the line I would have done so myself, but I do not and I am very reluctant to try to deal with elected officials who know that I cannot vote for them -- most politicians tend to be very dismissive of ideas that come from people who cannot vote for them even if such ideas are to the benefit of their own voting constituents. I can provide some advice and insight into the process to you or anyone else willing to push for extension of 1-2 morning and 1-2 evening Midtown Direct trains into the diesel territory of the Boonton Line.

The pattern to be followed is roughly the same as the one that established weekend service to Bay Street in Montclair. There it was basically a single person who first got the Mayor and elected officials in Montclair onboard, then their state senator/representative in Trenton and other officials from Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. At the point when the extension of the Hoboken-Newark Broad shuttles to Montclair was brought to NJT the political support was there and the crucial argument was that no additional equipment or crews were needed -- those shuttles were idling at Broad Street anyway. The extra revenue of the extension about covered the extra electricity/fuel costs, so the extension was revenue neutral to NJT and that is why it happened. The reason why it has not been possible to make that weekend service to Bay Street more frequent than once every 2 hours or get it up to MSU is that neither of these would be revenue neutral -- more trainsets and crews would be required.

The situation with extending 1-2 trains in the morning and in the evening beyond MSU is very similar, but of course not exactly the same. First, NJT is really capital starved, so any extension should not require even $1 in capital dollars. Second, the extra operating costs must be minimal in order to be sufficiently close to being covered by the extra revenue that about 200 new passengers would bring (200 is just my reasonable guess, your estimate might be different). Also it cannot afford to lose any of the existing passengers and their revenue, so like it or not any extended train stays local in Montclair. Starting from an existing yard is clearly a must as establishing a new crew base is expensive, so Dover or Port Morris it is (as explained earlier trying to do it from MSU yard is operationally cumbersome and is a no go). On the political front, one of the cards to play is: if the Coast and Raritan lines got ALP45s for a few direct trains from diesel territory into NYP, why can't we have 1-2 direct trains too? We do not need new slots into NYP and the extensions even come with some extra revenue to cover the extra fuel costs (and maybe extra crew time). Speaking of crews, from crew perspective the best place to start is Dover because the crew needs to end up where it began its day. Returning the crew back to Dover at the end of their shift (which will be before the extended evening run beyond MSU) is easier to accomplish than returning the crew to Port Morris. This is because the crew can return to Dover from NYP via an M&E run. Anyway, if you or anyone else has serious interest in pushing and trying to make this happen we can discuss further including in private and in person ...
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby EuroStar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:03 am

Zuccaraillo wrote:This leaves me questioning if electrification and Midtown Direct service is extended to Wayne and the station is not also double tracked, but also the construction of a small yard for trains to layover.

While Wayne is the big commuter trip generator on the diesel portion of the line, extending electrification just to Wayne plus an yard is not efficient use of very scarce capital dollars. Ridership will need to grow many times to justify this sort of capital expenditure. It is much cheaper to try to grow the ridership now using the ALP45s and worry about electrification and other upgrades once the ridership is established. One day the line might be electrified and at least partially double tracked, but that time is not now or 10 years from now.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby EuroStar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:23 am

time wrote:If NJT does move to extended MidTown Directs, they should look to revising the morning schedule to be a skip-stop format. The first Midtown Direct to go through Montclair would be a mostly express, stopping only at major stations like MSU, Walnut Street, Bay Street. The second Midtown Direct, scheduled perhaps 20-30 minutes behind the first, would stop at a few more Montclair stations and Glen Ridge and Bloomfield. Then, behind both Midtown Directs, run a local to Hoboken from MSU. Time the Hoboken local so that it arrives just before a Morris & Essex Midtown Direct, allowing a third option to get to Midtown. Repeat.


While you are correct that the proper way to run the service would be a skip-stop operation or some other mix of express/local service, that cannot be done until new tunnels under the Hudson are built and Penn South or some other new terminal is established. To get direct NYP service beyond MSU you cannot afford to create enemies such as the political representatives in Montclair. If there is a serious political pushback from anywhere, any extension will be dead as the natural tendency of political bureaucracy is to do nothing if there is no unanimity. That is why no stops current stops in Montclair can be cut. Any current stop needs to remain a stop of a future extended train. If and when Gateway and Penn South are built, the service patterns can be changed and optimized because you can provide more trains into New York. This is one of those cases where one cannot let 'better' be the enemy of 'good enough'. 'Good enough' in this case is a one seat ride to NYP without changing at Newark Broad or some other station along the line from a Hoboken bound diesel to a NYP bound electric. Is it a slow ride? Yes, it is, but nothing unheard of -- certain well patronized stations on the Coast Line and Port Jervis line have similar commute times.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby time » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:26 pm

Montclair is one town. Get the mayors and county execs of Passaic and Morris Counties together for some political pressure to make a real schedule happen for the WORMs. It's about time, and NJT now has the equipment to make it possible.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby Zuccaraillo » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:59 pm

EuroStar wrote:
Zuccaraillo wrote:This leaves me questioning if electrification and Midtown Direct service is extended to Wayne and the station is not also double tracked, but also the construction of a small yard for trains to layover.

While Wayne is the big commuter trip generator on the diesel portion of the line, extending electrification just to Wayne plus an yard is not efficient use of very scarce capital dollars. Ridership will need to grow many times to justify this sort of capital expenditure. It is much cheaper to try to grow the ridership now using the ALP45s and worry about electrification and other upgrades once the ridership is established. One day the line might be electrified and at least partially double tracked, but that time is not now or 10 years from now.

I could imagine select peak Midtown Direct trains being extended to Wayne as it appears that there are some slots that can handle direct service all with ALP-45DPs. https://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/R0030.pdf

On weekends I am puzzled why the Bay Street shuttles utilize exclusively diesel trains, including ALP-45DPs running in DIESEL mode. Why isn't it more logical to use more Arrows, DPs in electric mode, or 46s for those services?
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:04 pm

Don’t hold your breath about any Midtown Directs being extended to Wayne. The ridership west of Montclair doesn’t justify it. Plus people in Wayne love their great bus options to and from the city. Even in give or take traffic, the bus is still the best option from Wayne.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:48 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Don’t hold your breath about any Midtown Directs being extended to Wayne. The ridership west of Montclair doesn’t justify it. Plus people in Wayne love their great bus options to and from the city. Even in give or take traffic, the bus is still the best option from Wayne.

On Boonton Line diesels, the train can be crowded outbound from Broad Street, but the crowd thins out by MSU and can be down to only a few passengers by the time you reach Lincoln Park. Not only does Wayne have frequent express bus service, Boonton and Mountain Lakes have frequent Lakeland service (7 days, even more frequent than the trains).
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:52 am

Very true about frequent Lakeland bus service in those communities listed. In fact, the majority of communities in NW and Northern NJ already have good bus service so why add more trains to those towns especially if the ride is slower even during rush hour. Personally the NJT parking garage at MSU was a big waste of money. An all stops local to the city takes almost an hour during rush hour. This park n ride lot would have been better off not having the deck. It’s not Metropark.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby time » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:52 pm

The passenger counts are commensurate with the level of service. Provide a better service and you'll have the opposite problem - not enough seats.

When you consider what could be possible, Morris & Essex line like service for WORMS, then it's frankly disgusting to think how long this has not been implemented. An equivalent "express to Summit" would be an express to MSU. Just imagine, leaving New York Penn, stopping at Broad Street, stopping at MSU, and then all stops to Dover. That would get traction for increased ridership, and on a good day (haha) I'm guessing it would beat the bus.

But, alas, we're stuck with the "we need the passenger counts" before we offer the service mentality, which will get folks nowhere fast. I was in Boonton the other day, and was thinking how nice of a town it could be to live in if it had decent train service to the city. It could be like Summit or Morristown - lots of historic buildings being fixed up and infill development adding to the tax base, helping to support better schools and city services.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby CentralValleyRail » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:41 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Don’t hold your breath about any Midtown Directs being extended to Wayne. The ridership west of Montclair doesn’t justify it. Plus people in Wayne love their great bus options to and from the city. Even in give or take traffic, the bus is still the best option from Wayne.

On Boonton Line diesels, the train can be crowded outbound from Broad Street, but the crowd thins out by MSU and can be down to only a few passengers by the time you reach Lincoln Park. Not only does Wayne have frequent express bus service, Boonton and Mountain Lakes have frequent Lakeland service (7 days, even more frequent than the trains).


$100 says neither one of you live in Wayne. I've lived here for the past 25 years and know a lot of people. Running a small business in a town like this you get to meet a few people over the years and yes people do ride the bus because ITS THE ONLY OPTION. (a common conversation when asking where a customer works or commutes to) The train taking over an hour is NOT an option (especially when it involves a transfer). The ridership west of Wayne isn't really being discussed in particular to Wayne. As someone who's neighbors take the bus to NYC EVERYDAY they HATE IT. the only reason they do it is because the 150K plus salary justifies it. 2 of my neighbors have quit jobs that paid over 150K in the city to take a $50,000 pay cut so they could commute 10 minutes down the road because the bus is HORRIFIC. the average commute time is an hour during rush hour and there are MANY MANY days where it's longer. Yeah sure the bus takes 20 minutes at 5am (which i've been on the 5am out of Wayne Transit Center) and coming home at a midnight but who rides the bus at midnight the answer is not many. West of Wayne the service is mute because of the routing of the train even an express doesn't beat driving.

Now lets put aside the horrible commute, lets add PA. PA is the WORST place in the city... I rather wait for a bus on the side of the road then the PA. The homeless are out of control there the terminal is a mess. Penn Station makes PA look like Grand Central Station. (which we all know PS and GCT are total opposites)

Then you have the reverse commuting hours. going into the city between 4-8 which from Wayne again takes an hour easy. 80 46 and 3 DO NOT MOVE even in the reverse commute. Plenty of people who live in Wayne and don't commute to the city like to spend their dollars in the city at night. Well with horrible bus service (since the bus is hourly from Wayne Transit (willowbrook is full) after 11AM that puts us all on the road to another train station or we just drive in. The demand is certainly there.


EuroStar wrote:
Zuccaraillo wrote:This leaves me questioning if electrification and Midtown Direct service is extended to Wayne and the station is not also double tracked, but also the construction of a small yard for trains to layover.

While Wayne is the big commuter trip generator on the diesel portion of the line, extending electrification just to Wayne plus an yard is not efficient use of very scarce capital dollars. Ridership will need to grow many times to justify this sort of capital expenditure. It is much cheaper to try to grow the ridership now using the ALP45s and worry about electrification and other upgrades once the ridership is established. One day the line might be electrified and at least partially double tracked, but that time is not now or 10 years from now.


I think this person was being sarcastic about the yard and my overall statement. That is the vibe I got from the comment.

EuroStar wrote:
CentralValleyRail wrote:I can raise it with the town of Wayne and see if they can go to NJT with the idea.. Wayne politics had a big part in the transit center. And I know of many people who have to ride the bus that would take the train in a heartbeat if it was direct and faster... Usually with things like this that are right in front of your face politicians and locals don't explore into the options. If presented with a viable option I think it would be worth a shot. And I know there will be a lot of backlash at me for the idea but I didn't make 6 figures on my own 7 figure startup by sitting and laughing at the idea...


More power to you if you are willing to bring it up to elected officials for consideration! If I lived in Wayne or further along the line I would have done so myself, but I do not and I am very reluctant to try to deal with elected officials who know that I cannot vote for them -- most politicians tend to be very dismissive of ideas that come from people who cannot vote for them even if such ideas are to the benefit of their own voting constituents. I can provide some advice and insight into the process to you or anyone else willing to push for extension of 1-2 morning and 1-2 evening Midtown Direct trains into the diesel territory of the Boonton Line.

The pattern to be followed is roughly the same as the one that established weekend service to Bay Street in Montclair. There it was basically a single person who first got the Mayor and elected officials in Montclair onboard, then their state senator/representative in Trenton and other officials from Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. At the point when the extension of the Hoboken-Newark Broad shuttles to Montclair was brought to NJT the political support was there and the crucial argument was that no additional equipment or crews were needed -- those shuttles were idling at Broad Street anyway. The extra revenue of the extension about covered the extra electricity/fuel costs, so the extension was revenue neutral to NJT and that is why it happened. The reason why it has not been possible to make that weekend service to Bay Street more frequent than once every 2 hours or get it up to MSU is that neither of these would be revenue neutral -- more trainsets and crews would be required.

The situation with extending 1-2 trains in the morning and in the evening beyond MSU is very similar, but of course not exactly the same. First, NJT is really capital starved, so any extension should not require even $1 in capital dollars. Second, the extra operating costs must be minimal in order to be sufficiently close to being covered by the extra revenue that about 200 new passengers would bring (200 is just my reasonable guess, your estimate might be different). Also it cannot afford to lose any of the existing passengers and their revenue, so like it or not any extended train stays local in Montclair. Starting from an existing yard is clearly a must as establishing a new crew base is expensive, so Dover or Port Morris it is (as explained earlier trying to do it from MSU yard is operationally cumbersome and is a no go). On the political front, one of the cards to play is: if the Coast and Raritan lines got ALP45s for a few direct trains from diesel territory into NYP, why can't we have 1-2 direct trains too? We do not need new slots into NYP and the extensions even come with some extra revenue to cover the extra fuel costs (and maybe extra crew time). Speaking of crews, from crew perspective the best place to start is Dover because the crew needs to end up where it began its day. Returning the crew back to Dover at the end of their shift (which will be before the extended evening run beyond MSU) is easier to accomplish than returning the crew to Port Morris. This is because the crew can return to Dover from NYP via an M&E run. Anyway, if you or anyone else has serious interest in pushing and trying to make this happen we can discuss further including in private and in person ...


Sounds like a good idea, I'm 100% serious about it...
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby CentralValleyRail » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:42 am

Equipment Move or fuel run went by WTC/23 at 5:45pm yesterday.
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby CentralValleyRail » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:11 am

H-02 is on the move at the West Belt Crossing. Towards Totowa. Time is 11:10am EST.

H-02 is on the move at the West Belt Crossing heading back towards Dover. Time is 12:45PM
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Re: The Montclair/Boonton Line Thread

Postby CentralValleyRail » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:42 am

Trespasser Strike today just west of Watsessing Ave.

6216 was involved and eventually annulled.

1074 was already running 25 minutes late before it approached the area due to some operational issues in the Dover vicinity ended up 55 min late thru the strike area.

6222 ran an hour behind.


Outbound

6231 annulled
6233 60 min late


http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/ ... river_home
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