Bergen cross-county line

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Bergen cross-county line

Postby northjerseybuff » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:49 am

I heard through the grapevine, that presently NJT is planning on running from Hawthorne-Hackensack on the NYSW. They will build a 2nd track in most locations(similar to the River Line in south Jersey) to allow freight movements.
  1. From what I hear the NJT money numbers for this project are way low. They will need to do massive work for this.
  2. Who's gonna ride it?? It doesn't go anywhere. It needs to hook up with the rest of the HBLR in North Bergen...if not, your taxpayer money is at waste.
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:47 pm

This has been on the radar screen for about two years. The idea is to join the HBLRT to the NYSW main, into Paterson (thus it will not go nowhere), serving Elmwood Park, Rochelle Park, Maywood and of course Hackensack en-route. NYSW wants separated tracks so that there will be no time-share waivers for freight operations; this would restrict the LRT to a single-track on the NYSW main for the most part. No funding or EIS as yet, of course.

Google Search for "Bergen Cross-County" on NJTransit.com
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Postby Steve F45 » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:16 am

I'de like this. Hackensack is alot closer then Rutherford or Ramsey where i usually goto get a train.

I know there is definitely room for double tracks for most of the way, but maybe not thru the high points of hackesack (summit/prospect and streets further east), but from 1st where it is a trestle i believe you can double track all the way into ridgefield park. Im sure bogota would be a tight squeeze. I'de love to see it. Hell why stop at hawthorne, go further west.
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:18 am

If it's LRT, it's not going any further west than Paterson. Right now, it's merely a proposal, and one that lacks practicality to boot. IMHO, if any service to Hoboken should materialize on the eastern half of the NYSW, it ought to be FRA rail.

Service from Hawthorne to Sparta is meant for the commuter rail proposal, the idea there being that having the trains switch onto the Main Line guarantees their operation via Secaucus Junction.
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Postby Steve F45 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:36 pm

What about having somekind of change over where the NYSW goes over the PVL in hackensack or in saddle Brook by midland ave?
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:09 pm

You mean like the River Line/AC Line transfer station in Pennsauken...? NJT doesn't do transfer stations that well, and Secaucus bears that out. The PVL isn't frequent enough to warrant it anyway; and given that it's already got three Hackensack stations, the capital cost wouldn't be worth it, trains would operate too slowly as a result, and the residents would probably be dead against it. Besides, having a NYSW-line station closer to Main Street and the bus transfer would be more desirable for passengers...
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NJ-ARP: Some clarifications.

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:40 pm

The Cross-County proposal, using DMUs, has been considered for at least the past three years (otherwise, Irish Chieftain is correct in concept). We know in part because NJ-ARP helped co-sponsor the debut of Colorado Railcar's DMU equipment in New Jersey in October 2002, and NJ-ARP held its annual meeting on the equipment, stationed in Hackensack, later that month.

To NJ-ARP's knowledge, LRT on the Susie-Q route (Hawthorne to Hackensack) hasn't been pursued seriously in any way since the mid-1990s. It's possible we've overlooked someone's effort on this score, of course.

The Cross-County proposal, in various permutations, does weigh various transfer points, including connections with other NJT rail services in Saddle Brook, in Paterson, and (possibly) in Hackensack with NJT bus operations, if not the Pascack Valley Line itself.

While we agree that NJ Transit tends to implement transfer options in less-than-optimal fashion, it does not follow that such options should not be pursued. Not counting "historical" well-organized transfers, such as Newark-Penn Station, sometimes even NJ Transit gets it right (HBLRT transfer to/from PATH at Exchange Place may be the exception that proves Irish Chieftain's overall rule).
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Postby MickD » Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:39 pm

IC is right it isn't practical ,as the bus between Paterson&Hackensack
is far more accessible.Many more more stops for folks who are more apt
to use the service.Broadway and Madison in Paterson isn't exactly the
safest of places for pedestrians in daylight So I've gotta wonder just how many passengers you'd draw to a station there.If the Paterson City branch was still intact this MIGHT make sense,if a transit village could've been built around Straight&Market St.My feeling is this proposal was political hyberbole.Restored service from west of Hawthorne into
Hoboken is the only sensible pursuit for NYS&W.
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NJ-ARP: 'Bus'll do it' ... maybe.

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:48 pm

NJ-ARP can recall we received that very message (lecture?) from the "experts" re: the River Line: The 409 and 419 were good enough, and no one needed that pesky (light) rail, thank you very much. Light rail wasn't "practical."

One of our officers boarded the River Line Saturday, Jan. 7, at Trenton. The one-car train "wasn't too crowded," he reports, "but there were more people on it than the two on the 409 [bus]." Um, yes.

Somehow too many railfans and others on this forum fail to consider the possibility that induced demand can work not just for the infernal combustion engine, but for rail as well. Buses are applied quickly, and they offer flexibility, and NJ-ARP is all for them, particularly for the short term. But we don't buy the idea that a bus route, even an existing one, is the end-all-be-all for every single O/D pair.

We believe Hawthorne (Paterson)-Hackensack rail can work, even as a standalone line (within the rail network), and certainly if rail, light rail, and bus connections and transfers are planned and implemented.
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Postby MickD » Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:25 am

If downtown Hackensack were more of a shopping district I could see it.
Other than the County Courthouse you really don't have anything there that you can't find in other town along that route and once again in
Paterson you still have to transfer to a bus to get to the business district.
What helps the Riverline is that you can transfer fairly easily to Amtrak,NJT &Septa commuter rail, also
Patco at either end.Have you ever waited for a bus in Paterson on Broadway in that immediate area?I have.It's not a partcularly enjoyable experience.After dark the closet bus stop 2 blocks east is a particularly
dangerous spot.You might get some patronage from Saddle Brook,
Maybrook,etc.,but enough to justify the investment?I'm not sure about that.Once again as to shoppers,it makes far more sense for people from towns involved who would use public transportation to take the bus to
Garden State Plaza than to either Paterson or Hackensack.I certainly
think DMU's have potential in many areas,Cape Cod where I currently live
being one,but I don't see it here.
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Postby Steve F45 » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:49 am

How about express from hawthorn to hackensack, then to RP then express to hoboken or wherever they were terminating?

They could use this line to get some people out of western passaic and sussex counties.
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NJ-ARP: The 'vision' thing.

Postby Douglas John Bowen » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:51 am

Even allowing that the skepticism over rail's utility in Paterson, or Hackensack, is heartfelt and genuine for the current day, in NJ-ARP's view it does not follow that the status quo (pro or con) will remain.

Again, we point to the River Line as the new end of the spectrum. Is Paterson beleaguered? Yes, but nowhere near as much as Camden was (and/or still is). Is Hackensack a "weak" market (origin or destination)? Weak compared to what? Bay Head? Mt. Olive?

NJ-ARP, which can, will, and HAS justified rail serving New Jersey's poorest city, is not daunted by doubts that rail can't and won't prompt ridership changes and/or growth in New Jersey's fourth-largest city.

But as we've noted, those who can't (or won't) "see" the potential have plenty of "expert" company. And who knows, they may very well be right.

We do have one question, offered sincerely: Just what time frame is required to "justify" a given rail line? Again, turning to the River Line, the artificial frame was 17 years. Talk to Burlington County officials today, and we're way past that argument. Even spiteful parent New Jersey Transit has stopped bad-mouthing and trash-talking its own offspring. NJ-ARP is thankful for such small favors.
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Postby MickD » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:19 pm

DJB,Time frame is fair question.I know up here the MBTA didn't expect
The Middleboro commuter line to reach the ridership it did in the first
year(1997-98) until 2010,but then again that was a on line into Boston.
Now the Bayhead comparison is agood one beacuse I use that when I'm in NJ from time to time.It's been quite awhile since I've been on a
daytime NJCL train that wasn't crowded,but there again those trains east
of the of the transfer at Long Branch are going to NYC,and you can transfer to The Path at Newark for The Village and downtown.I'd love to see Paterson
come back the way downtown Lowell,Ma,has but I don't really see anytime
soon. Hackensack should see increased PVL service in the near future,
only as mentioned above you can't transfer to it &you never will,so how would that help a potential commuter from Rochelle Park or Maywood.
You can't transfer to BCL from E.Paterson or Midland Ave in Saddle Brook
so that negates that.I think you might be able to make this line if service was extended into Hoboken via Bergen Arches or a flyover at Croxton.
I've got a lot of respect for the foresight of NJ-ARP but I still think this is
a very long shot.As you yourself said no mention of this has been made
for sometime
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