Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

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

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NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:40 am

UZ, I wish you had morris County polticians otherwise you would either have the cutoff or NYSW up and running by now or half done. But with all the morons you have in the Sparta area it's a wonder why nothing gets done in that area. They are opposed to expanding/improving 15 along with the NYSW project which is why no thanks to towns like that dumping their problems on us traffic backs up to 3 or 4 towns away.

But yet they go ga ga everytime a big box retailer liek Wal Mart or a Home Depot comes to town and further jams outdated highways/roads that have 200 pot holes within 5 miles. No thanks to the SUVs (which are the greatest thing to happen to OPEC's profits and ceretain Arab countries that are part of that Kabal) traveling in NJ as of June will become even more expensive and the roads will have even more wear and tear along with more accidents/incidents.

A repeat of the summer of hell like what happned back in May of 2001 (The incident in Denville with the three trucks)will probably happen again somewhere before peopel up in sussex and other NIMBY areas get off their fat lazy butts and actually have to do something aside from sending NJT angry e-mails.


I know 3 people who live in Andover and 5 that live in Newton and they've had it with the closed minded anti rail NIMBYism that's infesting the place. If the cutoff or even NYSW were on line and offerign passenger service Routes 15,23 and 80 wouldn't look like something out of Zimbabwe.

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:38 am

lol.. I happen to be an SUV driver, but not only because I like it, but because it's a necessity for where I live. Lots of steep high grade hills.

In any case though, you're right. They love it when big shot chains come to a town, but then whine when it increases traffic to an area. They don't seem to understand that rail service will most likely solve this problem.

Traffic is only going to get worse within the next 5 years specifically for my area (Vernon, NJ.) Right now, about 90% of the people who live here commute to work in the main metro area counties (Bergen, Passaic, Essex) and New York City. My wife leaves around 5:30 AM and sees multiple cars and traffic jams on 515 and 23. I leave around 8AM and encounter traffic as well. Because of this, our commutes are an hour long on most days, and sometimes longer.

Add to that, increased development in my area. As of right now, Vernon has a law in place that puts a hold on most development for the next few years. However, developers have found loopholes in that clause and are going full speed in the development of Vernon. Two good examples are Main Street in Vernon which according to the town is poised to be an alternate to the clogged streets of 515, and a development that they are building in out of all places, the end of the road where I live. These along with other catalysts will not only increase the populaiton of this town, but will increase the traffic of people going through the roads every morning and evening.

Unfortunately, people don't want to look at the alternatives for decreasing the traffic, saying if we limit development, traffic will stay at normal levels (or what they call normal levels.) However, if developers are finding loophole in these laws, then how does it help decrease traffic? The only way to decrease traffic is to provide alternate means of transportation, specifically rail. If people had access to rail, I am confident people would choose to take it vs. driving out at early hours in the morning.

Development in this area is not going to stop anytime soon. People are moving out here because A. They find it more quiet and B. Homes are cheaper out here. They put up with the commute for those main two reasons. The time has come now to instead of trying to prevent the inevitable, to figure out how to deal with the influx. Alternate transportation such as rail will provide for that alternative.

The politicians are bafoons here. But for those like-minded Sussex County residents like you and me, the best thing to do is to vote them out of office and force the residents to see the real picture. It's not like NJ Transit will have a shortage of equipment. Especially for the fact that they are buying new Comet V cars and new locomotives. Put the old equipment in service here for all I care. Just bring rail back to Sussex County and end the congestion once and for all.

On another side, I enjoy browsing this forum and looking at all the information. I've always been a rail fan since I was a kid. Thank you to all members for helping to rekindle my rail spirit.

NIMBYkiller
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Post by NIMBYkiller » Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:04 pm

Too bad NJT doesn't have the $$$ to just say FU NIMBYs and just build the damn lines. Once they are up and running, most of the NIMBYs will shut up and realize how stupid they were.

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:22 pm

The question I wonder is... Why doesn't NJT offer these projects up as a subsidy to another rail company? That would probably get these projects completed faster and provide more transportation options to the residents of New Jersey. As I remember, NY&SW didn't want to sell their line, but they offered to run passenger service on it. To me, that's a feasable alternative and in the long run would probably save NJT money in the short term.

It just seems like they're all narrow minded when it comes to accepting something like that. I don't see the harm in giving the subsidies. To me, it would only help NJT bring more passengers into the network and take cars off the clogged roads, and get projects completed faster. Unless if they aren't able to do it because of some govt regulation.. Then that's a different story.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:19 pm

NJ Transit does not have unlimited funds to do such a thing. They are already subcontracting services out, heavier on the bus end of things than the rail end, but on the rail end there is Southern NJ Light Rail Group LLC ("River LINE") and 21st Century Rail (HBLRT).

The old way was to directly subsidize the private railroads; and after that, the state DOT ran things themselves (in order to track where the money was going and to be responsible for same, seems to me, not to mention getting a number of different companies' overhead out of the accounting plus to have integrated ticketing between all lines, as much as you can do it)...

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:59 pm

I get agitated hearing about excuses from NJT and the people against bringing passenger rail to Sussex County. If they were smart, they'd find a way to bring passenger rail here before it goes up in price to bring it back. Right now, the track for NY&SW is there and is barely used. On a good day, I see one train in the morning on a freight run. That track has to be one of the most under-utilized tracks in New Jersey. Most of the stations are still in tact and only would need some minor reconstruction, some sidings would need to be put in place, I think that's about it. That shouldn't cost much. At least by todays political standards.. Unlike the Lackawana (sp?) Cutoff. I am of course for both to be restored.. But if I had a choice, I would want the NY&SW service restored first.

NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:54 pm

uz, I'm actually from the town of Dover in Morris County.

but at least Dover is not a nimby town esp since we have direct NYP and weekend service along with electrification and a large railyard and a hell of alot more service and respect for NJT. That really says alot about a town further west and away from NYP then Montclair, Ridgewood and Westfield yet they complain about NJT putting in more service while Dover demands more.

My town wants to build a transit hub to make my town a destination point somewhat to the Crossings in PA. It'll consit of 4 parking decks and retail space. My town doesn't care bout the horn noises esp when we have all types of diesel and electrics run by would love to see the cutoff restored so that people from PA can even come over. My town is a working class area that isn't richy rich and stuck up like Sussex County, Montclair, Westfield, Ridgewood, Denville, etc but yet we realize that NJT is our friend and is trying to make our lives better but those fools in the Nimbyland areas I've named want you to think that NJT is evil and demands that the agency does their bidding no matter what.

I would also like to see the NYSW project come before cutoff because all NJ projects serving NJ residents and worse areas should go 1st before cutoff that serves mainly PA residents unless if PA kicks in more $$$$.

Zeke
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Post by Zeke » Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:19 am

It seems to me if everybody pushes the hell out of the politicians, we may get some of these moribund lines up and running. In this state the more noise you make the more they pay attention ! I think the terrible traffic problems of Interstate 80 will bring this Lackawanna cut off rebuild to fruition. In the interim contact your local politcos and state reps and push..push...push !

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:20 am

I've drvien through Dover in the past and seen the train station and such through the area. It's a nice site to see actually :-)

The interesting part of what you're saying is that really, the only towns that are putting up the fuss is the people of Sparta. Most towns in Sussex County want improved transportation through here. Reality is the only few that don't want it, somehow continue to get their way. That's really what I don't get.

They actually tried to put a park and ride at the other end of Vernon next to Crystal Springs. It was there for a good part of the year with signs saying "Coming Soon" and such. Now it's Spring, and there's no sign of it. All evidence of it being under development have dissapeared. At the same time, they now have a park and ride at the intersection of 515 and 23 in Hardyston. Every morning I see that place packed with NY commuters.

It's very funny how these people in the minority are getting their way while the majority are being shut out. Obviously the politicians are screwed up.

I can say with some confidence though that the majority of people here in Vernon; at least my neighbors are for bringing rail service to as close as possible to this area. We all know that with the development of Main Street, the Village at Mountain Creek, building of more homes, etc.. that there has been and always will be a need to enhance the transit options here. More traffic is enevitable and the expansion of roads is not the answer.

Maybe we should start an online petition or something. Has anyone ever done that and got success out of it though?

Mark Schweber
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Post by Mark Schweber » Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:38 pm

There is a VERY long article in the NY Times today about real estate sales in the Poconos and how the forclosure rate is going way up becasue houses were sold to people who could not afford them and should not have been buying them. The basic tone of the article was that developers pressured people to buy with high pressure sales tactics and untrue statements. One of the things used to help close the sales was the assertion that "there is a train coming":
The average Monroe County home, by contrast, is going for $148,000, and unlike the pricey New York suburbs, the Poconos seemed to be courting minorities from the city. There was even the promise, often repeated, though a bit vague, that a train was on the way to make the commuting that much more sensible.
Of course the train never came:
As for Ms. Davis, it is difficult to pinpoint, she says, just what sent her over the edge. There was the $3,000 in annual school and property taxes, a $3,600 yearly heating bill, and $500 in homeowners' association dues, which she says she had not expected.

Soon after Christmas of 2000, her husband announced that he would stay in New York. The talked-about train to New York City had never materialized. The traffic tie-ups were endless. "All you talk about is bills, bills, bills," she recalled him saying.
The article concldes with an illustration that real estate developers continue to promise the arrival of a train to NY:

On March 24, Chase won a foreclosure judgment against her, the penultimate step before it can sell her house.

She recently went to her local bank for a credit card. She had no luck. But she got friendly with the woman who took her application. They talked about real estate and the woman excitedly told her about having just signed for a new home in the Poconos.

"And the best thing about it," the woman told her, "is that there's a train coming."
For anyone who wants to read the whole LONG article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/11/nyreg ... &position=

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:28 pm

I happened to read a similar post in the NJ Railfan forum. I gotta say that I don't really trust The New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal (only because I worked for one month at Dow Jones and I saw first hand what goes on there.) As the other person said, and I will repeat here, i'd take whatever the NY Times wrote with a grain of salt.

And BTW, as a person who has frequented the pocono's on a yearly basis, I had yet to see a single minority out there. And no.. I'm not a racist. The Pocono's have two purposes. A. Commuter Towns B. Resort Towns.. That's all there is to it.. I guarantee you if they reintroduced train service out there, you wouldn't be hearing banter from the NY Times. They probably took a statistic from a very small section and blew it up.

NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:24 am

UZ,

You haven't been to the area not far from Pcocno Summit Station where you'd think you were in Harlem. I know a guy whos lived up there since the mid 80s after he moved from Masbeth in Queens. That part is fine but there are areas in the Poconos that are the suburbia version of the South Bronx. There are bloods, cripts and Latin Kings there. The problems that local police, and law abiding residents have in terms of street violence and out of control domestic desputes make the gang problem in Dover and the bad part of Morristown look like Short Hills.

The situation up there is getting bad to the point where my friend wants to move his family into Henryville.

Atleast Dover's problem is under control when the Dover PD and Morris County Sheriffs started to see the luetenats from some of these gangs visit the area. Thanks to the politicians, local pd and alert residents this problem is going away but for some reason areas like the one in morristown and pocons summit area is either growing or confined to one area and is not going away.

Dover thankfully is doing more through increased police presence, neighborhood watches and redevelopment to bring business here (ie the transit hub). Sadly towns like Sparta and Montclair are too stupid to realize what they've got.

I do hope Andover, Greendel,etc aren't like that. As far as the NYSW project goes. If I had it my way I'd save NJT the trouble and terminate service in New Foundland rather then trying to extend service past Sparta and dealing with those anti railroad morons. I say if the people from Vernon should give Sparta a piece of their minds. Because I'd see 0 problem of NJT not putting up a station in Sparta but having the service go to Vernon and terminate there and bypass Sparta.

now this would be good news for Mt Creek and the rest of Vernon Valley. Esp when you've got soemthing Great Adventure, Camel Back and Dorney Park doesn't have...Direct railservice to Hoboken with a concention to NYC via PATH or ST.

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:02 am

That kinda goes back to the notion that they took a statistic and blew it up beyond proportions. Most media these days are looking for the publicity a story generates rather then dedicating themselves to fair and balanced reporting. Overall, we get unproperly reported news and information, as well as issues that are overstated.

Bypassing Sparta and going to Vernon is a great idea. Not only would it reduce traffic here, but it would also bring additional business to the town. Vernon has two purposes. A. It serves as a commuter point for residents and B. It's a 4 seasons resort town. Not only would it plausible to put train service in for the commuters, but since the resorts are open in the winter for skiing and the summer for the water parks/picnics, it would take outsiders off the road.

There are some people against it though as previously specified. What you call NIMBY's are present here in Vernon as in Sparta. However, the NIMBYism here is a thousand times less pronounced here then it is there. Train service here would be very plausible.

NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:13 am

your right on that. I always wondered why NJT would even bother goign to sparta rather then cuttign off the service in New foundland. but when you remidned me on how many peopel really visit the Vernon Valley area all year round I now think the trains should go there and give sparta the finger by just runnign as many 6 car disel sets as they can just to annoy the hicks in Sparta and helping out the more desvervign and smarter folk in the Vernon area. I know a girl who I went to school with who lives up there and she would've loved to take the train from Veron to her new job in Hoboken. I hear that most people have it out for the anti rail fools in Sparta.

But then again since Sparta loves to talk crap about my town even though we are way ahead of them in terms of development and transport to and from NYC and points in between I guess they love their closed minded hick town. A whole different story in Vernon and other areas. I jsut hoep Greendel and andover aren't isn't like Sparta. One is already enough.

uzplayer
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Post by uzplayer » Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:22 pm

It's actually funny because you aren't the first person I have heard say that they hate Sparta. Numerous people here have complained about how everything from the cops that roam the streets to the people that live there suck. Reading this forum has convinced me even moreso that Sparta is full of inbread hicks.

Vernon is in fact is full of more sensible politicians. Instead of taking the approach of stopping development altogether, they have put safeguards in place; allowing for development to continue while the infrastructure (for the most part) can catch up. I wouldn't be surprised if rail service does become a reality in Vernon. Not to mention it is in fact more plausible and there's plenty of space for a terminus point either here or in Warwick at the old train yard.

What I wonder is why hasn't NJ Transit thought of bringing the trains here. The track and station are in place and need very little renovation to get it going again. From what it sounds like, the NY&SW rail in general needs very little renovation. It should be a quick project to bring into fruition and shouldn't break the bank with NJT.

When I get a chance, i'll snap some photos around the old train station to show you guys the current state.

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