Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

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

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DocJohn
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Post by DocJohn » Sun Jun 19, 2005 12:21 am

Thanks for the reply. There must have been some population shifts in the area after I left for college in 1962. I was back for HS renion in 2002 and places like Creskill, Demarest, and Closter looked quite populated.

alewifebp
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Post by alewifebp » Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:43 pm

Yes, they are quite populated, just not AS populated as the towns below are, such as Englewood and on down the line. I can tell you by nature of vehicular traffic that it is much quieter on the upper end than it is on the lower. That is not to say it is anywhere near a picnic, though.

Either way, if it was going to cost, say, $1.5 billion to build it to Tenafly, you are going to add greatly to your cost to build it beyond.

IRFCA_RRfan
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Post by IRFCA_RRfan » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:50 am

The Weehawken/Port Imperial LRT Station starts operations this week - and talk of extending it to the Sports complex. The Northern Branch would get a "temporary shuttle" thru Tenafly till some time in the future when it can go direct to NYP...
Eventually, NJ Transit plans to extend the light rail system west to the Meadowlands, terminating at the sports complex. Hudson County officials have been pressing for that extension to provide easy access to residents seeking jobs at the planned Xanadu shopping and entertainment development there.

The state Sports and Exposition Authority, which runs the sports complex, commissioned a study this year of the potential extension.

Originally, the light rail line was supposed to head north into Bergen County, along the old Northern Railroad line. But a $1 billion price tag, and a shifting of priorities toward a new $6 billion commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River, killed that plan.

Instead, NJ Transit is promising a temporary rail shuttle from Tenafly to North Bergen, where riders could transfer to the light rail line. An environmental study of that line is under way.

Ultimately, the new tunnel would allow NJ Transit to convert the Tenafly shuttle into a full-fledged commuter rail line that would give eastern Bergen County a one-stop ride into Manhattan.
(from BergenRecord.com)
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**IRFCA.org**

Douglas John Bowen
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NJ-ARP: 'Sometime' very indefinite.

Post by Douglas John Bowen » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:59 am

Bergen County has a remarkable ability, decades-long in the practice, of deluding itself.

In essence, it has been promised a "one-seat ride" to Midtown Manhattan on the Northern Branch -- a promise that is nowhere to be seen within any plans currently being developed, by New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, or any other government or quasi-governmental party.

Indeed, for all its eagerness to get "one-seat" this or that, it doesn't notice it will get a three-seat or even four-seat ride to Midtown Manhattan -- an item well catalogued by Tenafly resident Al Cafiero. Granted, it would be only a two-seat ride to and from New Jersey's Gold Coast, but that, too, is a "demotion," at least for those fixated on fewer (or no) transfers.

(And other Tenafly residents simply have told NJ-ARP, "With an option like that, why leave the bus?")

Bergen County -- even within the politics that make New Jersey, a unique entity unto itself.

AndyB
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Post by AndyB » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:03 am

Is there a problem with mixing River Line DLRVs with HB LRVs, FRA regulations etc.?
If not, why not DLRV from the Northern to Hoboken.

Before anyone brings up the tunnel, I have been in the tunnel, there is a natural draft from east to west that permited the use of a lot of construction equipment in there. Also, the Bergenline station is built with high-volume exhaust fans for ventilation.
Knowledge has no value, unless shared with others.

Douglas John Bowen
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NJ-ARP: Hoboken is one reason.

Post by Douglas John Bowen » Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:08 pm

NJ-ARP can think of one reason pretty quickly, though it's not a "good" or ironclad one. Hoboken would fight like all get out to preclude DLRT.

Pro-LRT green groups in Hoboken were adamant in blocking any "interim busway" that might draw a "diesel curtain" around the Mile Square City, insisting any LRT (presumably traversing the "western" alignment) would be electrically powered. Full disclosure: NJ-ARP concurred with this concern and assessment.

One could argue that today's diesels (rail and bus) might run more cleanly than those of (my gosh! Is it really now) 20 years or so ago. But that is, at best, a rational argument (no dismissive irony intended). In the political arena, diesel light rail would be a hard sell, especially given the catenary infrastructure so visibly in place.

To NJ-ARP's best knowledge, NJT has not pursued this. Indeed, NJT, as we strongly noted above, has sent confused and mixed signals to all concerned on the Northern Branch. It shows "diesel-like" modes such as the River Line as an option for Bergen County, but acknowledges DLRT is not DMU only under pressure (or questioning).

In short, NJT has obscured and obfuscated on this matter as much as it has clarified. At best, it has done a woeful job explaining to the general public the issue of FRA-compatible equipment, even as it uses that argument to justify "heavy" diesel trains on the Northern Branch.

northjerseybuff
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Post by northjerseybuff » Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:41 pm

can someone please explain why the meadowlands needs to rail systems? I would think that the PVL would be good enough..or the light rail..why both??

alewifebp
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Post by alewifebp » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:32 pm

Hmm, I don't like the word "temporary" shuttle. Wasn't LB to Bay Head supposed to be a "temporary" shuttle too? Me thinks that temporary would turn in to permanent. I generally enjoy living in Bergen County, but this type of stuff is frustrating. The original HBLRT MOS-3 alignment is all but forgotten.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:04 pm

The "original" MOS-3 was the Vince Lombardi P/R terminus, if I'm not mistaken.

No DMU will ever go to Manhattan, like I noted before. Not unless NJT keeps some Arrows around and does something like the DMU/EMU "Flexliner" combo. (Any DMU that merely "connects" to HBLRT would be a waste as well—send the DMU south into Hoboken.)

Besides, the HBLRT sure isn't going to Manhattan either, so dreams of the one-seat ride across the Hudson won't be fulfilled in that.

Douglas John Bowen
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NJ-ARP: Shades of 'original.'

Post by Douglas John Bowen » Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am

Irish Chieftain is literally correct in stating Vince Lombardi was the "original" terminus for HBLRT, at least when it comes to putting services points on a paper or plan.

However, most LRT advocates fighting for (what became) HBLRT really wanted the "B" in HBLRT fulfilled more securely, via the Northern Branch. Al Cafiero and Art Adams, leading up the Transit Committee of Bergen County, were most vociferous in that, both before and after the "original" terminus was chosen.

And as the new century/millennium dawned, it appeared that, in fact, the prize was within reach, as New Jersey Transit itself first advanced, then defended, the idea of running up the Northern Branch.

But a new governor arrived, as did a new head at NJT, and various New Jersey U.S. House reps saw their own "solutions" to the woes befalling Bergen County, offered at bargain-basement rates. The rates are a bargain; the product mix, in NJ-ARP's view, won't cut it.

northjerseybuff
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Post by northjerseybuff » Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:23 pm

Ok..fair enough if the HBLR was suppose to end at Vince Lombardi..this was still before there were plans to move the PVL ROW over to Giant stadium. I can see one..but both? me thinks money could be better spent

alewifebp
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Post by alewifebp » Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:53 pm

Either way, Vince Lombardi would have still completed the "B" link, and so will the Xanadu/Meadowlands connector. And the Tenafly extension would of course cover the most ground in Bergen. I would just like it to actually serve real commuters and not special interests :-D. Well, no chance in that happening. I noticed that now the capital improvement projects page of the NJT web site makes no reference to Bergen County vis-a-vis light rail, or to MOS3 at all.

Why NJ doesn't promote it own assets is beyond me. Jersey City is a growing city, and along with Hoboken, and a two seat ride to Newark and, yes, lower Manhattan, it really makes sense for NJT to serve NJ.

MickD
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Post by MickD » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:51 am

What's current status of The Bergen Arches? Do any of these politicians and bureaucrats see any potential for running these DMUs through there? A route through there would open up a few possiblities. DMUs on the Susquehanna for one. Not that I see it happening, but light rail on the Lower Boonton for another.

I also think that no diesel argument in Hoboken is pretty thin. There's so much vehicular traffic in Eastern Hudson County that a DMU operation would have a limited effect.

MickD
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Post by MickD » Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:15 pm

I googled Bergen Arches and see that construction south of SJ is going
through there.Some more foresight on the part of NJ state government.
Now this really in my opinion makes any Hoboken opposition to DMU's
absurd.

Douglas John Bowen
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NJ-ARP: Hoboken argument clarification.

Post by Douglas John Bowen » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:29 am

Please note Hoboken's (original) objection to diesel-operated equipment referred to rail running on the ex-Central of New Jersey right-of-way underneath the Palisades Cliffs. The fear was in drawing a "diesel curtain" around the Mile Square City.

To NJ-ARP's best knowledge, no organized opposition exists in Hoboken countering any effort to use diesel multiple-unit equipment (DMUs) through the Bergen Arches, or indeed on existing rail access into Hoboken Terminal. Local concerns re: New Jersey Transit at this point revolve more around noise issues (engine idling) than particulate pollution.

Just a note to clarify the situation, again to NJ-ARP's best knowledge.

NJ-ARP remains active in pursuing the Bergen Arches for rail and/or shared use, so we're certainly attempting to keep our finger on the local political pulse.

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