• Lower Boonton to become the Essex-Hudson Greenway?

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

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

  by amtrakowitz
 
https://www.essexhudsongreenway.org/
Residents of communities all along the property have been campaigning for a linear park that would serve as a “shared-use path” for people walking, hiking, riding a bicycle, running, or just relaxing. Groups and individuals including the Bloomfield Open Space Trust Fund, the Friends of the Ice & Iron Trail, Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill, and Northeast Track Solutions, as well as organizations in North Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken have advocated for and supported the greenway. In 2014, the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition adopted the greenway campaign, partnering with the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance. Today, the Open Space Institute has reached a preliminary purchase and sale agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company for the property that will, eventually, lead to the greenway.
There goes the notion of reactivating rail service of any kind. The Essex County Board of Commissioners even describes this as “transcendental” for some reason.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Sad day for the rail industry. A relatively intact right of way sacrificed for a bike lane. Rail trails like this are not the answer for commuter congestion or climate change. Increased routes for passenger rail increase the opportunities for people in certain neighborhoods to utilize rail service due to the convenience of certain branches and their connection to others, in this case involving the towns of Kearny, Belleville and Bloomfield. The sooner we realize that more branches for passenger rail, even if they may seem redundant, increase the benefits of rail travel's convenience and accessibility as a whole.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
While as a railfan and proponent of rail transit, I am certainly pretty sad to see the decision be made to convert the former Boonton Line to a rail trail, I am quite happy at the same time. It will be great for people to be able to bike and walk between Montclair and Jersey City as well as maybe between Montclair and Bloomfield and Belleville. There is a lot of traffic on parallel roads and it has only gotten worse for a little over a decade. This is because of more and more people moving to those towns along the trail. By having a dedicated corridor that was once railroad for bikers and walkers, that will help ease safety issues by reducing their chances of being struck and killed by cars.

There are many issues for keeping this old Boonton Line as a commuter train route. First off, once it leaves Montclair, it doesn't really serve as many commercially developed neighborhoods as possible. Rowe St Station isn't within the best walking distance of Downtown Bloomfield, although it's not that far. The Arlington Station was mainly in a residential area and it's a hilly walk to the main street(Kearny Ave).
  by Tom V
 
Glad I got to ride it a couple times when I would visit my then girlfriend, now wife, at Montclair State University 2000-2001. I would take the NJCL from Matawan to Hoboken and connect, this was before Secaucus Jct.

The Montclair connection is one of those projects that made so much sense, even though it led to the abandonment of a small section of existing service.


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  by Dcell
 
Tom V wrote: Sat Nov 13, 2021 12:04 pm The Montclair connection is one of those projects that made so much sense, even though it led to the abandonment of a small section of existing service.
Exactly right. NJT saved $100 million by not having to replace that huge bridge over the river. And Boonton Line riders gained access to Newark. It was a huge win however you look at it.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, the Montclair Connection project has had many benefits besides just connecting people from MSU and stations east of there to NYC and HOB. It enables easier commuting access to Downtown Newark. I have worked in Downtown NWK in the past and have commuted on the MOBO from Upper Mtc to NWK Broad St many times. Presently I work in Jersey City closer to JSQ but I still use NJT's Montclair-Boonton Line to travel from Upper Mtc to NWK Broad St but my trip continues on the light rail or bus to NWK Penn Station plus Path to JSQ and either walk or take bus to office.
  by pumpers
 
Njtmnrbuff, How much longer would it be to take the train all the way to Hoboken and then take PATH the other way to JSQ?
  by CarterB
 
Leave the rails in and let speeders use it!!!!
  by unichris
 
CarterB wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:44 am Leave the rails in and let speeders use it!!!!
Sounds like fun, but, realistically? Tracks have to be maintained, and that costs money.

Every time a picture of even pedal-powered "railbiking" comes up the impossibility of passing others is pointed out as something that limits this to short novelty.

Though I do suddenly find my self tempted by the idea of a building a rail trail "handcar" - just need to figure out a subtle steering mechanism.

In principle, trails alongside active rail would be wonderful (especially if there were bike-friendly passenger service).

In practice, things that get converted were already not coming back. The Maybrook Trail didn't kill Metro North's Harlem-Hudson connection, actually the opposite as money was spent during trail construction to move the rails to a consistent position within the right of way. But somehow rather than repair the cuts made to protect the work site, instead they filed to abandon the not-economical-to-maintain line.
  by ExCon90
 
unichris wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:54 pm
CarterB wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:44 am Leave the rails in and let speeders use it!!!!
Every time a picture of even pedal-powered "railbiking" comes up the impossibility of passing others is pointed out as something that limits this to short novelty.
Funny -- the Philadelphia & Columbia (when still owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?) discovered the same problem well back in the 19th century; no solution has ever been found except to establish some kind of firm dispatching control and add track as necessary. Speeders or bullet trains -- the same limitations apply.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
What demand is there for an extra stop in Glen Ridge and Bloomfield?

The ROW has been encroached in multiple areas and torn out in others. WR Draw is in bad shape and welded shut as is. DB Draw is in the middle of a swamp.

This is a loss that can be absorbed. I'm as much as an Erie supporter as anyone, but this is a trade off that makes sense. We can't preserve all rails.
  by MaRoFu
 
I agree with much of the sentiment in this thread that a trail was probably the best route for this ROW. There really wasn’t a lot of significant worth to restoring any rail service on this line.

On a slightly different subject, I’d love for them to also turn the remaining part of the Orange Branch into a trail that goes to the Silver Lake light rail station, with a stair to Franklin Avenue.
  by jamesinclair
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sat Nov 13, 2021 2:16 am Sad day for the rail industry. A relatively intact right of way sacrificed for a bike lane. Rail trails like this are not the answer for commuter congestion or climate change. Increased routes for passenger rail increase the opportunities for people in certain neighborhoods to utilize rail service due to the convenience of certain branches and their connection to others, in this case involving the towns of Kearny, Belleville and Bloomfield. The sooner we realize that more branches for passenger rail, even if they may seem redundant, increase the benefits of rail travel's convenience and accessibility as a whole.
The reality is that NJT is unable to build projects at a reasonable rate. Look at the HBLR extension, Glassboro Line and Lackawanna that have all been "happening" for over a decade.

Even if today the governor announced the Boonton line would be restored to rail, when would it actually happen, 2040? 2050? And should it really be prioritized over the other dozen wish-list projects on the back-burner?
  by ExCon90
 
Roadgeek Adam wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 12:17 pm The ROW has been encroached in multiple areas and torn out in others. WR Draw is in bad shape and welded shut as is. DB Draw is in the middle of a swamp.
Just wondering: have any of the proponents looked at the cost of making WR and DB suitable for pedestrians, joggers, bikes, etc.? And is there a worthwhile goal at the east end of DB, or would it just mean turn around and retrace your steps?