New Dinky to Nassau Street

Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby andrewjw » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:20 am

lol, what a great idea /s
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:59 pm

At this point, if NJT doesn't ever order MUs or if they're too much of a hassle, the obvious options are:
-rent a few S-Vs from SEPTA wrapped for NJT
-sever the Princeton Branch from the NEC and use a few RIVERline Stadlers
-sever the Branch from the NEC, convert to 750 VDC LRT, and hope the town or college decides they also want in
-busway, or worse, bustitute on surface streets and make it a bikeway :(
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby andrewjw » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:05 pm

Town and University are very unlikely to contribute, haha.

S-V would probably be the best option due to the simplicity. DMU follows, since the line is already so close to disconnected. I think ML EMU would be in between these options.

A bikeway might receive considerable traffic if more parking were available. Bikes are very prominent on campus and in the town. There is very low traffic and buses on existing roads would perform fine, and busway conversion would be very expensive.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:19 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:If they isolated the line, would it still have to be FRA compliant?

Maintenance and periodic inspections would be a problem -- as they would be for a trackless trolley unless it could get to a garage somewhere without wires. I don't see how they could run an operation like the dinky without FRA compatibility to enable equipment to reach a maintenance base.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby trainbrain » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:54 pm

I think the easiest option short term if no ML EMU's are ordered (looking more unlikely by the day), is to rent a pair or two of Silverliner V's from Septa. They can run on the existing track, use the existing stations and electrification, and maintain the existing service pattern.

Severing it from the NEC and using River Line LRV's could also be an option, but it would require fueling facilities and removing the heavy rail high level platforms. However, it would not require renting equipment from Septa.

The best long term option is electric light rail that connects to a larger network. It would be able to meet every NEC train and serve customers from a wider geographic area.

I don't think converting it to a busway or bikeway is a good idea. I feel like if you've got a grade separated rail right of way, you should continue to use it for rail as it would be ridiculously expensive to convert it back to rail in the future if the tracks were ripped up.

With regard to the fare collection issue, a solution could be to switch to automated fare gates at Princeton and Princeton Junction like they already have at Secaucus. Just have the Dinky platform inside fare control at Princeton Junction and require passing through the gates to exit at Princeton.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:33 pm

To be clear, I don’t think wholesale conversion to a bikeway is a good idea either (though bikes sharing the ROW, properly & securely separated, is an idea with merit) but I have different priorities than many at/in Princeton.

The proposal way at the top of this thread isn’t unreasonable, though good luck making it work with a private company.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:23 am

mtuandrew wrote:At this point, if NJT doesn't ever order MUs or if they're too much of a hassle, the obvious options are:
-rent a few S-Vs from SEPTA wrapped for NJT
-sever the Princeton Branch from the NEC and use a few RIVERline Stadlers
-sever the Branch from the NEC, convert to 750 VDC LRT, and hope the town or college decides they also want in
-busway, or worse, bustitute on surface streets and make it a bikeway :(


Everyone: I will use Andrew's option list and add my own thoughts on each:

1-SEPTA will not likely be able to lease any MU cars to anyone let alone NJT for any kind of long
term since they have a potential shortage of their own equipment with the Silverliner Four fleet
aging and their own ridership continuing to grow.

Keeping a small dedicated fleet of between 4 and 6 Arrow Three MU cars for the Dinky especially
if there is to be no multilevel EMU order would be the easiest way to retain PJ&B service.

2-Isolating the PJ&B is going to be a tough move-Will these dedicated DMU cars be kept there or
maintained along with the River Line fleet in Camden? A new shop would likely be required to
maintain this small fleet if it is to become a total stand-alone line.

3-A light rail line - along with an extension to further serve the University campus and Borough
would be a good move - but will need the support of P.U. and many levels of NJ local and state
governments to design and fund this new service. Both this and the DMU options are going to
be expensive propositions.

4-A Busway - or outright bustitution - is an outside possibility for this route. This option may
encounter strong opposition from elements of the community that want to retain the Dinky.

From looking at overview maps of the route pathways paralleling parts of the route already exist.
Connecting these into a bike and pedestrian route would be a good move - the one need would be
a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that would be necessary over US 1.

The Princeton Branch Wikipedia page for the overview record:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Branch

In closing remember "If it is not broken..." This is the way many feel about the Dinky...MACTRAXX
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby Dcell » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:23 am

The proposal calls for increased service frequency by use of 2 single trackless trolley buses. Locals want more connections to/from PJ but object to clean diesel buses. That’s why electric trackless trolley is on the table. More service for the locals, 65% lower cost to NJT.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:25 am

D: With this trackless trolley bus proposal will the track be removed to create a dedicated single
lane busway or will the route be on one of two possible paralleling roads?
I added the pedestrian and bicycle options for both of these routes...

1-Alexander Street/Road - which goes from the west end of the Borough and Station area on a
somewhat winding route with a bridge over US 1 to the west extent of the PJC parking lots and
crosses over the NEC to Wallace Road east to the PJC station building.

2-Washington Road - which intersects at the end of Station Drive across from the east end of the
station area which goes directly into Princeton Borough and University Campus to Nassau Street.
Washington Road crosses US 1 at a semi-circle type at grade intersection.

The Alexander route looks to be the better one for bicycles at least - Washington Road requires
crossing at the busy US 1 intersection on foot. If this became a designated bicycle or pedestrian
route this could be another location for a pedestrian bridge.

If either one of these road options are used for a replacement trolley bus line the Dinky route
will be best retained to be a new pedestrian and bicycle pathway. This will at the very least
keep the right of way intact for future service restoration.

Will the Dinky remain the same or be changed to a new service?
or better yet: What will everyone be able to agree on?
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:50 pm

If and When NJT figures out that a MLV-II design is NOT useable as a EMU,and Rotem's Denver SL-V is now a proven design in service,
NJT should go to Rotem and have them build the next gen ARROW,and have the "Pilot" car do time on the Dinky.
Rotem seems to have learned from past mistakes,as the Denver SL-V has proven.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby electricron » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:50 pm

Backshophoss wrote:If and When NJT figures out that a MLV-II design is NOT useable as a EMU,and Rotem's Denver SL-V is now a proven design in service,
NJT should go to Rotem and have them build the next gen ARROW,and have the "Pilot" car do time on the Dinky.
Rotem seems to have learned from past mistakes,as the Denver SL-V has proven.

I could see the need for a fully compliant FRA EMU for trains on the NEC, but not on the very short branch line at Princeton. A lightweight Stadler GTW or FLIRT (EMU or DMU versions) would make a better choice.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby Steampowered » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:02 pm

Extend the dinky into west windsor. Have a park and ride across from the mall on southfield road. This would be perfect 2nd station for parking and more riders Possibly extend it as far as exit 8.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:42 am

Since the Arrow III replacements might take longer than planned, it might not be too late for NJT to change its mind and just stick with a single level MU that would enable the Dinky to continue to operate if they can't get a multilevel MU that would enable one to two cars to operate on the Dinky, as well as three cars for the Gladstone Branch and the Summit locals.
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby kilroy » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:36 pm

Steampowered wrote:Extend the dinky into west windsor. Have a park and ride across from the mall on southfield road. This would be perfect 2nd station for parking and more riders Possibly extend it as far as exit 8.


Extend it?? They just cut it back. PU will never stand for it.
Why do we drive on parkways and park in driveways?
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Re: New Dinky to Nassau Street

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:25 pm

kilroy wrote:
Steampowered wrote:Extend the dinky into west windsor. Have a park and ride across from the mall on southfield road. This would be perfect 2nd station for parking and more riders Possibly extend it as far as exit 8.


Extend it?? They just cut it back. PU will never stand for it.


Wrong way. He's referring to east of Princeton Junction through to Hightstown.

That said, no way is that happening. There are NIMBYs everywhere in West Windsor/East Windsor/Hightstown. Not to mention you'd have to find a ROW which would get super expensive.
...they are solid plastic, so don't settle for imitation.
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