45DP service in non-electrified territory?

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lensovet
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45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by lensovet » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:47 pm

Just wondering…how many of the DP units are actually used for one-seat rides into NYP from non-electrified territory?

I guess prior to the massive PTC cutbacks there was some RVL service that was a one-seat ride. The current NJCL schedule shows 3 direct Bay Head to NYP trains in each direction on weekdays and none on weekends.

According to Wikipedia, NJT has 34 of these units. To run 6 trains/day on the entire system? That seems low.
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EuroStar
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by EuroStar » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:21 am

You heed to remember that the 45s were purchased to give the former Erie lines access to the station under Macy's basement. They were not meant for the NJCL line or any of the other lines with current access to NYP.

While there are enough units to permanently eliminate the Bay Head shuttles, the demand for a long train ride from beyond Long Branch to NYP is not exactly huge. I have not seen figures describing the ridership of the 6 trains/day that currently run Bay Head-NYP, but it cannot be that much higher than the time when passengers had to change trains at Long Branch. The primary reason is that those trains cannot run express due to lack of timeslots into Penn, so one-seat or not, the time penalty of taking the train from beyond Long Branch to NYP is just huge. I do not know if the parking lot at Long Branch used to be constrained, maybe now it is a bit better because passengers do not need to drive and park at Long Branch to get the one seat ride, now they can use the parking lots at stations further south, but in the whole scheme this is a minor improvement.

The mid-day Raritan trains to NYP did not gain much ridership, maybe 30-40 people per train at most (I am not counting people who used those trains between NYP and Secaucus or Newark -- they did not need a one-seat train from Raritan to make their trip). One, it was during the non-peak hour when not that many people need to travel. Two, the Raritan line tends to attract people who need to commute to Downtown NYC due to its convenient connection with Path in Newark. People who bought houses along the line due to this convenience are not likely to change their preference and start commuting to NYP and take the subway to downtown. Taking the train to NYP is slower and exposes the riders to risk of delays in the tunnels. Indeed even if NJT started serving NYP from Raritan during peak hour tomorrow, it will take years, probably at least a decade of service, before a meaningful change in the commuting patterns is observed as the towns along the line become attractive to commuters who work in Midtown NYC.

The only other place where the 45s could be used in their dual-mode capacity is extending the Montclair trains beyond MSU. That has not even been attempted for several reasons. First, the one place where most of the ridership could come from is Wayne, but Wayne has its express buses to NYC. Second, any extended train will continue to be local in Montclair again due to the time slots limitations into NYP, so the train will not be time competitive with the bus. Three, money will need to be spent as NJT will likely not be able to remove any of the diesel trains currently going beyond MSU as there is entrenched ridership which prefers Hoboken as their destination over NYP. Fourth, there has been no politician from that area pushing for that direct NYP train service.

With all of that and lack of any prospect of it changing over the next 40 years. I cannot tell you why NJT decided to buy more 45s recently. While there is a certain convenience in not having to worry about stranded trains due to power failure and certain operational simplicity in not having to separately roster the diesels and the electric motors, these are minor and do not really justify spending the extra money on the 45s over straight electrics or diesels.

Yankees1
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by Yankees1 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:30 am

The most important use, in my opinion, would be for summer NJCL express trains. Every single NJCL train during the summer is packed to the gills, especially those that go south of Long Branch. If they could figure out a way to make more weekday and weekend express trains, that would be a huge boost.

andegold
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by andegold » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:06 pm

EuroStar you're repeating arguments about "long standing commuting patterns" that were widely discussed in the planning for MidTown Direct and were almost immediately disproved upon opening of the service.

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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by EuroStar » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:56 pm

Uh, you don't get it? Here is an example:

Train 3363: departs NYP at 5:05pm arrives at Long Branch at 6:30pm. That is 1 hour 25 minutes on the train before the extra ride to say Belmar which has arrival of 6:50 for 1 hour and 45 minute one way before a drive home for our typical commuter.

Train 6647: departs NYP at 5:15pm, skips Summit after stopping at couple of other stops and ends in Dover at 6:38pm for a total ride of 1 hour and 23 minutes. If the train continued for another 22 minutes (to make it 1 hour and 45 minutes total) it will be around Mount Olive.

The difference should be obvious now: NYP-Dover on the M&E is similar to NYP-Long Branch in terms of total commute. Both of these are relatively well patronized, but once you get beyond Dover or Long Branch the travel times get really bad for everyday commuter. It might be OK for people who need to go to the city once-twice a week, but every day 1 hour and 45 minutes each way twice a day gets old on most people really fast. Long Branch-Bay Head is comparable to Dover-Hackettstown and the ridership there leaves, to put it mildly, a lot to be desired.

Note that on the Port Jervis line, where Metro-North runs expresses, train 55 has its connection departing NYP at 5:08 and by 6:33 (1 hour and 25 minutes later) is by Silisbury Mills, which is give or take 10 miles further from Penn than Dover or Long Branch. Those 10 miles is what an express will get you in spite of the transfer penalty at Secaucus. And that is what gets you the ridership. There are even better example east of Hudson, but that is topic for another day.

andegold
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by andegold » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:48 pm

I do get it. I was referring to your comments about Raritan one seat rides:

"The mid-day Raritan trains to NYP did not gain much ridership, maybe 30-40 people per train at most (I am not counting people who used those trains between NYP and Secaucus or Newark -- they did not need a one-seat train from Raritan to make their trip). One, it was during the non-peak hour when not that many people need to travel. Two, the Raritan line tends to attract people who need to commute to Downtown NYC due to its convenient connection with Path in Newark. People who bought houses along the line due to this convenience are not likely to change their preference and start commuting to NYP and take the subway to downtown. Taking the train to NYP is slower and exposes the riders to risk of delays in the tunnels. Indeed even if NJT started serving NYP from Raritan during peak hour tomorrow, it will take years, probably at least a decade of service, before a meaningful change in the commuting patterns is observed as the towns along the line become attractive to commuters who work in Midtown NYC."

The only relevant facts here are that the experiment was off-peak. Saying that the peak riders go down town and therefore prefer to change in Newark is the same bad reasoning the MidTown Direct planners used "Commuters from Short Hills, Millburn, and Summit work on Wall Street and will still go to Hoboken for PATH access to WTC." They were wrong and if Raritan riders were given a one seat ride during peak hours you would be too.

Regarding Bay Head, I wasn't addressing that but if you'd like I will. You're stating that the only way to increase ridership is through express trains. You're saying that one seat rides have no attraction or utility. If your argument was, as others here have made over the years, that dragging an eight car set to Bay Head with an alleged fuel guzzling 45DP is less efficient on a spreadsheet than running a three or four car diesel shuttle that would be a valid argument. But that's not your argument is. Your argument is that people don't commute if it's longer than an hour and a half and that a one seat ride has no impact on that. I respectfully disagree. Given the choice between a bus and a train many people will choose the train even given a time penalty. Why? It could be they are too tall or wide for the otherwise superior seats on a bus. It could be because buses make them car sick. It could be because buses, while nominally faster, are much more unreliable particularly for the next 2 years during reconstruction of the helix and eventual reconstruction of the entire PABT. Finally, a one seat ride could be the difference between an uninterrupted nap without your coat on and an interrupted nap accompanied by the hassle of getting up and off a train and right back on a train.

How many of those 30-40 (per train or per day?) new Raritan riders might later become peak riders or just more regular riders?

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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:12 pm

First, in order to provide express service from outlying areas, NJT needs to expand capacity closer to the city(i.e. Gateway Project(more of an Amtrak project), adding triple track to key parts of the NJT owned system(M&E all the way to Summit but that's tough because past Millburn, the tracks not only have a sharp grade and sloping space). On the Coastline, it would have been nice to have it triple track to at least Aberdeen-Matawan Station and this would permit for more express service. Taking a local train to the beach is a painfully slow ride, even with the spacing between stops between Woodbridge and Long Branch. Unless if you are taking an express train, and you live close enough to a major hub closer to NYC, you might as well just drive to the beach.

Let me make this general statement about traveling by NJT to any station along the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair State University. The bus is more convenient and even in little or no traffic, it is faster. If you live in Wayne, there are a million bus options. You aren't waiting more than 30 minutes during most of the day for a bus at the Willowbrook Mall P&R Lot, even on weekends. If you live in the Lincoln Park area, Lakeland runs plenty of buses and the ride isn't that slow. You could also drive a few miles east to Willowbrook for NJT buses. While NJT might open up with the speed a little bit in Morris County on the Montclair-Boonton Line, in the end, the bus wins. Many Montclair-Boonton Line trains that originate in Morris and Warren County make local stops on the electrified territory. Those local trains can take forever, especially if you are starting your trip in Morris County. If you work in Downtown Newark, it's not that bad.

andegold
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by andegold » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:45 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Let me make this general statement about traveling by NJT to any station along the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair State University. The bus is more convenient and even in little or no traffic, it is faster. If you live in Wayne, there are a million bus options. You aren't waiting more than 30 minutes during most of the day for a bus at the Willowbrook Mall P&R Lot, even on weekends. If you live in the Lincoln Park area, Lakeland runs plenty of buses and the ride isn't that slow. You could also drive a few miles east to Willowbrook for NJT buses. While NJT might open up with the speed a little bit in Morris County on the Montclair-Boonton Line, in the end, the bus wins. Many Montclair-Boonton Line trains that originate in Morris and Warren County make local stops on the electrified territory. Those local trains can take forever, especially if you are starting your trip in Morris County. If you work in Downtown Newark, it's not that bad.
And yet people take the train every day.

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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:17 pm

The few reasons that many people take the train-rush hour traffic on the roads. I think that if you live west of Montclair along the MontClair-Boonton Line, your office is either very close to NYP, in Jersey City’s Financial District, Downtown Newark, or Lower Manhattan.

CentralValleyRail
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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by CentralValleyRail » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:45 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:First, in order to provide express service from outlying areas, NJT needs to expand capacity closer to the city(i.e. Gateway Project(more of an Amtrak project), adding triple track to key parts of the NJT owned system(M&E all the way to Summit but that's tough because past Millburn, the tracks not only have a sharp grade and sloping space). On the Coastline, it would have been nice to have it triple track to at least Aberdeen-Matawan Station and this would permit for more express service. Taking a local train to the beach is a painfully slow ride, even with the spacing between stops between Woodbridge and Long Branch. Unless if you are taking an express train, and you live close enough to a major hub closer to NYC, you might as well just drive to the beach.

Let me make this general statement about traveling by NJT to any station along the Montclair-Boonton Line west of Montclair State University. The bus is more convenient and even in little or no traffic, it is faster. If you live in Wayne, there are a million bus options. You aren't waiting more than 30 minutes during most of the day for a bus at the Willowbrook Mall P&R Lot, even on weekends. If you live in the Lincoln Park area, Lakeland runs plenty of buses and the ride isn't that slow. You could also drive a few miles east to Willowbrook for NJT buses. While NJT might open up with the speed a little bit in Morris County on the Montclair-Boonton Line, in the end, the bus wins. Many Montclair-Boonton Line trains that originate in Morris and Warren County make local stops on the electrified territory. Those local trains can take forever, especially if you are starting your trip in Morris County. If you work in Downtown Newark, it's not that bad.
You couldn't be anymore wrong about Wayne. I happen to live in Wayne have lived here for 10 years... I know every shortcut, the exact time to just about every train station for the fastest time to NY. I do it at least once a week. With neighbors who do it everyday. They HATE the BUS. and always said if the train ran more than 3 times a day and didn't stop 35 times in Montclair they would take it in a heartbeat. That parking lot fills up by 8:30am everyday. So the ridership is there... A lot of angry ridership...


The commute towards the city Monday-Saturday is horrendous. 7am-10am 3pm-8pm. 46 to 3 doesn't move, it takes an hour to get thru that 3-4 mile stretch.. almost ALL the time... Then you have more problems on Route 3 in the morning thru Clifton, and then again with the Rt.17 merge. Then there is the glorious Lincoln Tunnel WHICH AT ANY POINT of the day can have a delay... I once sat there for 2 hours on a Sunday on the bus almost missing a basketball game that I spent hundreds on... (vowed and have not taken the bus when I had a time constraint EVER again) I've sat in the tunnel at 11pm on a Sunday night for an hour. So to say that the bus is quicker is really only true at 5AM on a weekday.... And the bus itself after 10am goes to Willowbrook first which takes about 10 minutes from the time you leave Rt23 to the time your back on 46 so it's really 40 minutes with no traffic.. The buses that originate on the 194 and 197 are always 10 minutes late since they travel so far... so then it's 50 minutes (as the schedule goes) sometimes without any traffic...

Keep the train time to 45 minutes or less and it's a winner.. NYP-BRD is 20. BRD to MSU is 15 (maybe have one stop at Walnut or Watchung) and another 10 to Wayne...

For starters they can extend some trains out to Lincoln Park. They have an active switch they can use if needed. If not Lincoln Park, Rt.23. It's only 10 minutes to MSU, maybe 12 to the switch past MSU towards MH since you need to be on the east track to access past the yard... Little Falls sees its fair share of ridership.. Wayne does okay as well. It's west of there where it dives off... It can be done, but like someone else said there is ZERO political pressure here to have it done and the NIMBYS of Montclair also doesn't help... Anywhere else this would've been done years ago...

I enjoy Wayne for what it's worth but the train situation is going to be the reason I move soon and look elsewhere....

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Re: 45DP service in non-electrified territory?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:07 pm

My mistake. Buses, in general, heading into the city are subjected to the same traffic conditions. I live in Montclair and am looking at moving to Bloomfield very soon. I have taken both trains and buses from Montclair into the city so many times. On weekends, I often take the Decamp 66 bus more than I really should be. The company isn't managed well at all. The buses always run late for reasons like, not enough time being built into the schedule. Even though I live in Montclair, I live within ok walking distance from a full service Decamp 33 bus stop in Bloomfield near the Friendly's. I live two miles from the Allwood Road Park n Ride Lot and have taken buses from there plenty. On weekends, the traffic seems to be the heaviest heading into the city between the hours of 10 and 1 and then coming out, between 4:00 and 7:00. Even though the bus may be the most convenient way to travel to and from the city from most towns in Northern NJ, you have to build in lots of extra travel time.

I wish the train would run more on the Montclair-Boonton Line west of MSU. Even if there were some Lincoln Park turns, that would be good.

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