• MOM Rail Service

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

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

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  by E-44
 
There's the Raritan River RR running from South Amboy to New Brunswick. It had a branch that crossed Ryders Lane and the Turnpike (still there by Home Depot) in East Brunswick and the main line that ran into New Brunswick, crossing under US 1, running alongside the Squibb property parallel to College Farm Rd. (still visible from the overpass on US 1 South), crossing Georges Road and terminating at the corner of Remsen Ave. and Sandford Street. The builders had intended to continue through New Brunswick to meet the PRR, but the PRR was having none of that.

https://www.sayrevillehistory.org/rarit ... htbox=ci6h

The Reading came north from Philadelphia and had trackage rights eastward on the Jersey Central running east/west just north of Camp Kilmer (now partially occupied by Livingston campus). The Lehigh Valley, running east/west parallel to and north of the CNJ, originally ran down through South Plainfield, through Metuchen (crossing under the NEC) on its way to Perth Amboy where it unloaded Pennsylvania coal. Later, it built to a terminal in Jersey City. The Perth Amboy branch is now a a rail trail from Metuchen to Perth Amboy. The Reading ran a branch to a coal barge transfer facility (Port Reading in Carteret) through Metuchen and Woodbridge (behind the Woodbridge Center shopping center).

There are great maps (some posted in other forums here) of what the Kilmer trackage looked like during WWII in the book Triumph V - Philadelphia to New York - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/195 ... 830---2002. It shows the PRR turning loop (the crossover bridge still stands above the NEC just east of Edson station) for eastbound trains coming off the NEC and the rail yards within Camp Kilmer and you can walk through the Edison parking lot on the westbound side and see the remnants that led to some of the old grey warehouse buildings , one of which used to house the Rutgers Press. I just bought a mint copy on eBay. They are stlll available used.

And lastly, there were the trolley lines that ran all through New Brunswick as well as the last ones that ran on Easton Ave. around the train station and down Albany Street across the river through Highland Park, turning north along River Rd. to Bound Brook and continuing east to Edison, where they joined with lines to Perth Amboy and Elizabeth.

http://www.jhalpin.com/metuchen/history/trolley.htm
https://newbrunswicktoday.com/2015/01/0 ... -hub-city/

So yes, lots of rails in and around New Brunswick and Piscataway. Some gone, some remnants faintly visible and some active.
  by CJPat
 
Surprisingly, Bing Maps still depicts the rail lines still in place. You can see the Pennsy spur coming north off the NEC as it approaches the area and you can see the LV/Reading coming from the North out of Metuchen dropping down parallel to the NEC before entering the Camp Kilmer area from the North at Edison Station.

https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=8586bcb7 ... orm=S00027

If you use Streetside view, you can even see some of the tracks at crossing points like onTruman Drive South. Most street views will just show grass or trees where the ROW existed like for the Pennsy ROW.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
When did they remove all the spurs that came off of the NEC in NB?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Not my photo, but photo taken by someone else on a different thread, https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO ... pnTDMtVW9n
Whole album: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO ... pnTDMtVW9n

The bridge down over Route 72 by Woodmansie got a facelift, probably the first since CNJ went bust, and they slapped an NJT plaque on it. Other threads have been bickering over the Southern being upgraded for more freight usage (as a company received a grant to improve track conditions), and when, but I was wondering, could some of this work, especially the bridge, be related to future MOM usage? In another thread, it's been discussed that the TRIT was having crossing wiring hooked up again to the switch for it, when it's been well established there's little to no potential freight customers on that line...
  by CJPat
 
As I mentioned in the other thread. I doubt the State is thinking of anything MOM related that far south of their last reported interest of terminus (Lakehurst) beyond someone else's owned ROW (Clayton).
  by ApproachMedium
 
It only says NJ Transit because NJ Transit owns it and that number is an identification number
  by JohnFromJersey
 
A thought I had recently:
Why would MOM end in Lakehurst? It's literally in the middle of nowhere, and at the very least, the last station should be at the Toms River Park & Ride - not too far from where the TRIT's trackage ends by the Ciba Geigy plant, where Builders General and Amerigas are, as you can see in these images: https://imgur.com/a/AskvqKH
Ending it at the Park and Ride would make more sense, since the parking lot is huge, there's already a building that could be converted to a train station, the ROW under the Parkway still exists, and you would expand local services. Having the terminus there automatically would have a large number of customers added. You could keep Lakehurst as the storage/maintenance area.

Going further, why wouldn't they try to continue service south of Lakehurst/Toms River and into Winslow? That would offer some Atlantic City/Philadelphia service for Toms River and south, while still allowing for a quick NYC commute for MOM, and not have to use the FIT to Jamesburg that ticked off locals. Connecting NYC, North Jersey, Central Jersey, the Shore Points, South Jersey, Atlantic City, and Philly could boost local economies and really reduce local traffic.

It would be a lot more money but I think the investment would be worth it, at the very least terminating in Toms River instead of Lakehurst. Could have trains begin in Hoboken and terminate in Toms River (and vice versa), and have trains begin in Toms River and terminate in Atlantic City/Philadelphia (and vice versa)
  by CJPat
 
@JohnfromJersey - For Toms River, I don't think the planners are going to consider Ciba Geigy until the pollution issues are reduced further. There is active remediation on-going and I don't think the State is interested in possibly disturbing more dirt and possibly "shaking things up" on that property and risk being held liable. The problem with the TR park & ride is that it is a small piece of ground to shoe-horn in the addition of 2-3 more terminating tracks and structures on top of the parking (not to mention rebuilding a bridge or two. I honestly believe they are waiting until after they install to Lakehurst to evaluate whether they have enough pax traffic to add to the line.

The travel from TR would add a bit of time on to the commute for them to run due west from Toms River to Lakehurst before turning north. Toms River is the furthest point south that is considered practical for commuting to NYC by car at 2 hours (yes - we all recognize that there are a myriad of possible destinations for the using the train other than NYC, but that is the mindset). The State may not believe there would be enough interest in that length of commute.

As far as going south from Lakehurst to Winslow, I think we would be repeating ourselves when we mention that there is very little social connection between the Winslow area and Lakehurst/Lakewood and that zone is a community free deadzone. Other than Whiting & possibly Chadsworth, there are no communities that benefit (and Chadsworth's social structure has little to no gasinat all from rail. There literally is no cost benefit to achieve in resurrecting that trackage for the handful of people that would use it. No Freight, No Passenger. Even if it were made into a specialized bus route, it would come nowhere near to justifying the price tag to rebuild it.

The only reason Woodmansie to Lakehurst is being developed is because it is a private industrial spur for one business there is nothing that comes after it. If you want to review all the discussions regarding passengers to Atlantic City, you will need to look u0p the ACES thread (Atlantic City Express Service). That thread discussed all the interest in getting from NYC to Atlantic city.

For side reference, the Lackawanna Cut-Off discussion was based on providing connection from the Pocono's to NYC/North Jersey, as I-80 demonstrates the need (Jersey gains a little bit, but we are only a pass thru which is why NJT is slow to finish this). You don't find those same commuter blockages on the GSP (only on Friday/Monday's between Holmdel & TR due to TR/Seaside bound tourists) or even on the Turnpike to get to Philly. The removal of the various Toll Booths improved that dramatically.
  by ApproachMedium
 
While there is no need for service between winslow and lakehurst i think its viable though to make some kind of connection from CNJ to Philly. There are people in the lower monmouth county/ocean county area who commute to philly via car. A possible express connection to winslow with local stops to philly may show some benefit. Connections to AC for the lower shore would just be more seasonal.
With the post covid world and a lot more people interastate commuting/traveling for leisure
stuff like that could be a better possability over the whole everything has to go to NYC mentality.
  by CJPat
 
I think if you truly want to address access to Philly by the low numbers of people who want to head in that direction, then the MOM plan thru Jamesburg terminating at a cross platform change to the NEC at the transit village in East Brunswick (Where J&J used to be) sounds the best way to incorporate it all, short of a one seat ride to the NYC.

They already change trains at Long Branch (usually) going up the Coast Line. If they arrived at a platform in East Brunswick, it would allow riders to catch a North or southbound train on the NEC without the concern of lack of slots on the NEC that seems to interfere with any MOM planning. It would require a line running parallel to NEC from Monmouth Jnctn to East Brunswick)
  by ApproachMedium
 
CJPat wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:31 pm I think if you truly want to address access to Philly by the low numbers of people who want to head in that direction, then the MOM plan thru Jamesburg terminating at a cross platform change to the NEC at the transit village in East Brunswick (Where J&J used to be) sounds the best way to incorporate it all, short of a one seat ride to the NYC.

They already change trains at Long Branch (usually) going up the Coast Line. If they arrived at a platform in East Brunswick, it would allow riders to catch a North or southbound train on the NEC without the concern of lack of slots on the NEC that seems to interfere with any MOM planning. It would require a line running parallel to NEC from Monmouth Jnctn to East Brunswick)
That is also an extremely viable, and cheaper option.

I mentioned the same thing even with Mom to red bank. Instead of the trains going to red bank and continuing north having it as an LRV or DMU shuttle with its own platform or inter platform transfer at red bank would keep the rail traffic down into NYC but also provide the public transit option
  by JohnFromJersey
 
All trains don't have to go into NYC, NJT already has quite a bit of trains (typically originating from the Northwestern lines) that terminate in Hoboken, and you take the PATH under the river into Lower Manhattan. Red Bank is a pretty small station and it would probably have to be expanded, I think Middletown would be a better terminus for MOM if it couldn't get any further north to Hoboken or Newark Penn.

The main counter-arguments I can offer against a Philly connection via Jamesburg is that it would most likely prolong NYC/north commutes on the MOM by heading West; MOM's current plants seem to be that they won't have connections to both Red Bank AND Jamesburg, it's one or the other. Trains going from Farmingdale to Jamesburg will probably have strict speed limits since the amount of development around the ROW and the downtowns it runs through are very dense, so I'd imagine the effective commute time would be even longer. If the line were to go from Red Bank-Winslow, you could have a normal MOM-oriented northern point and have a relatively high(er) speed Philly connection south of Lakehurst/Toms River since most of the trackage would be in the middle of nowhere, with no freight sharing, meaning trains could probably push 80-100 down there, maybe even more. If the trains went onto the AC Line and made few, if any, stops before Philly, it could be faster than taking the Farmingdale-Jamesburg-NEC-Philly option, with no changing of trains. Not many people in Central and South Jersey commute into Philly because the infrastructure (outside of highways) to get into it from said areas is dismal, perhaps a commuter line that offers a Philly option could change that.

It would be cheaper in the short term to have the southern end at Lakehurst instead of the Toms River Park and Ride (which, if it needs to be rebuilt for MOM, it probably needed to be rebuilt anyway), but if the state is going to wait and see if expanding from Lakehurst is worthwhile, they will be in error; I don't think most potential MOM users will want to drive the 20-30 minutes to Lakehurst (in traffic) to hop on a train that could easily come to the Park and Ride bus stop they probably were using before. Plus, if I'm correct, the area for the proposed Lakehurst station is rather small, and probably couldn't hold a lot of parking, whereas the Park and Ride has a lot of that. In the long term, it would be initially more expensive to connect Toms River, but it would probably yield more revenue.
  by lensovet
 
Track maintenance requirements for speeds above 79 become pretty expensive…for an operation that's going to serve how many people daily tops?
  by WashingtonPark
 
lensovet wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:34 pm Track maintenance requirements for speeds above 79 become pretty expensive…for an operation that's going to serve how many people daily tops?
Considering the AC line did 3000 daily before the pandemic my guess would be you'd be doing well to get 1000 that would be willing to ride that round about route into Philly. It takes 30 minutes alone just to get between Cherry Hill and 30th street on that line due the congestion there.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
WashingtonPark wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:07 pm
lensovet wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:34 pm Track maintenance requirements for speeds above 79 become pretty expensive…for an operation that's going to serve how many people daily tops?
Considering the AC line did 3000 daily before the pandemic my guess would be you'd be doing well to get 1000 that would be willing to ride that round about route into Philly. It takes 30 minutes alone just to get between Cherry Hill and 30th street on that line due the congestion there.
Isn't the AC line single-tracked and used to be double-tracked? That's probably why.

I'd see a Philly-AC-Toms River-Red Bank connection being more beneficial in the summers than anything else. If they added an extension to Atlantic City International Airport to the AC line like they've wanted to for a while, I could see reviving the entire Southern Division to Winslow being beneficial.

EDIT: I keep mentioning a Toms River/Winslow/Philly connection due to the issues with the Farmingdale-Jamesburg-Trenton-Philly one. Theoretically speaking the latter would be faster, but with how dense the area is and with the pushback from local communities the former wouldn't be a bad idea (outside of costs) either.
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