• 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, nick11a, Kaback9

  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The Bay Head express trains are mainly meant for those people who work in NWK and NYC. It would be nice if they ran a lot more. MNR does it plus the LIRR so why can't NJT. The answer is lack of track capacity underneath the Hudson River plus on the High Line part of the NEC. Yes, Caltrain, prior to the pandemic, ran those Baby Bullets daily and throughout the day. I took one of those in 2007 and it was a bit faster over taking a local.
  by lensovet
 
With dual modes electrification isn't necessary. Haven't looked at the schedule recently but pre-pandemic NJT had 2-3 dual modes doing a one seat ride from Bay Head to NYP. If someone is interested you could file an OPRA request to get ridership numbers on those trains and compare them to ridership on the shuttles.
  by CJPat
 
"The answer is lack of track capacity underneath the Hudson River plus on the High Line part of the NEC."

My understanding was that the lack of capacity goes beyond the tunnels under the river. Now it has been several years and the addition of the multi-levels may have eased things up, but through other members of this board, I was left with the impression that the slot availability on the NEC is problematic. Perhaps my perception of the big picture issue is wrong?
  by Bracdude181
 
@CJPat Track capacity may also be an issue south of Newark. It’s fine right now, but anything from MOM would definitely fill up a lot of empty slots. Especially during rush hour, which if you’ve ever seen it it’s train on top of train on top of train on top of train on top of train!

Then there’s Amtrak’s stuff like the Acela, Northeast Regional, Keystone Service, Long distance trains, and the two Conrail freights. It all adds up. Yes, the big problem is capacity between Newark and New York because it’s only two tracks from a certain point onwards and of the infrastructure is crumbling. But wherever these MOM trains would join the corridor it will inevitably use up a lot of available capacity depending on how often they would run. You might be able to partially solve this by having MOM go from Freehold to Matawan so that any potential congestion is between Rahway and NY, but there’s problems with this too. For one thing NJT has rotten infrastructure between there and Rahway, and with one train every 20 minutes during rush hour and the South Amboy directs that line may already be a bit crowded.

Just my two cents.
  by R&DB
 
Folks, we are not gonna get MOM until there is more capacity betwween Newark and NYPenn, That measn 4 tracks through Portal, High line and North River tunnels. May also need more space in Sunnyside Yard.
I'm 69 and will never see passenger rail on the Southern Seconddary or Freehold Industrial Track, It's been gone from Lakewood since '53 and Freehold since '62.
  by CJPat
 
I think the general problem regarding MOM is that they are not defining it's purpose.

If it is meant to get people from the surrounding Lakewood area to Newark/NYC to solve commuter issues, then you want the fastest, straightest route which is to upgrade the Secondary and run trains to Red Bank for transfer or run further north (RR East).

But if it is meant to provide general transportation solutions than the run through Jamesburg to a transit village in North Brunswick for transfer north/south along the NEC would be the answer as it access Lakewood & Freehold to move people westerly for more combinations of travel options. But it makes for a slower commute if headed towards Newark/NYC. And it gives better access to New Brunswick or Trenton that doesn't exist.

So the problem appears to be that they want one line to solve all problems. They don't want to even acknowledge that two rail lines would be the best answer. They are trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. And that is why it drags. Not enough budget money, NIMBY's whining, no clear vision. It is the undead.

If it was meant to be a political supportive sound bite, the concept would have died out in the early '90's. But this idea has been out there since the mid '80's. Clearly there is a lot of interest but it is foiled by politicians that only entertain it if it can be a cheap, popular solution with no blowback. Hence the concepts just sits back and simmers. No political passion available to actually move it to a front burner.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
MOM definitely started out as a political supportive sound bite. It came at a time when NJ was doing amazing financially in the 80's and 90's. NJT was a model public transportation system for the country and even the world. That was when rail transit, particularly commuter rail, was on a comeback from decades of decline.
Whoever would get MOM rolling, which would bring back a massive amount of rail infrastructure to NJT, which would cause exploding development and growth (which means more tax $$$), would have quite the political prize for it. As a result, there was never a clear goal, and in all plans, the towns and NIMBY's all got upset that they would be getting shafted with each changing route.

Since then NJ has had a lot of financial issues, with NJT being one of the biggest ones.

That being said, MOM would need to be two lines under one system, and have multiple phases. The two lines would have to be a disjunction at Farmingdale, one going to Red Bank and the other to Jamesburg. The NIMBY's regarding both lines would equally get shafted (in their minds) so they would probably shut up if all towns along the SOUS/FIT had NJT come in.
Farmingdale-Red Bank would obviously the faster option for those further south, but Farmingdale-Jamesburg would serve towns out West, and give access to New Brunswick and Trenton (which would by default give access to Philadelphia). This would probably make MOM very successful if there were a variety of destination options with varying degrees of commute time. Sadly, the most optimal MOM plan, Farmingdale-Freehold-Matawan, is all but impossible, and the other options are too long/miss too many potential customers on their own.

MOM obviously can't *fully* happen unless there's new tunnels under the Hudson, but at the same time, the transit options down in Central and South Jersey are too dismal to be ignored or solved with more busses. If we wait for the Tunnels to be built, we won't get a single train on any of these routes until 2040 at best. That is just unacceptable, and who knows what could happen to the FIT or SOUS between now and then; it could go the way of the Freehold-Matawan route. That route, while abandoned, still had tracks in place on much of it, when they first started talking about MOM. Now the whole thing is a rail trail with much development encroaching on it, so that's a gauge of how fast things can change.

MOM should happen sooner rather than later. Even if it's a dinky shuttle service that gets people to either Red Bank or Jamesburg, it would reduce some congestion and definitely fill up some NJT trains on these routes.

Phase one would have to be as you said; some sort of shuttle. Ideally, it would either be light rail or single level DMUs. NJT could probably recycle a lot of Old Comet cars to do this. In addition, the terminus of MOM shouldn't be Lakehurst; there's really no purpose of servicing down there unless it follows the TRIT to the Toms River Park and Ride. If they are that concerned about money, just serve the biggest population centers first (Lakewood, Howell, Freehold, etc).
Phase two should be converting the line to dedicated single seat service to NYC. This obviously couldn't happen until the Gateway Tunnels would be finished. No more shuttles, make longer trains with the two leveled cars.
Phase three should be going south down to Lakehurst, through to Toms River. Serving Toms River, as someone said before, would be pointless unless it was a straight shot to NYC that was fast (IMO, the dedicated MOM trains from Phase 2 to NYC shouldn't stop at any non-major stops once they got onto the Coastline or NEC) or had access to Philadelphia. You would also probably have to increase the FRA rating of the tracks along the line to make it faster.

Obviously, I'm not a railroader nor employed by NJT nor qualified to run a railroad, but that's just my two cents regarding MOM. I think it is *extremely* needed and even a crappy initial version of it would be preferable to nothing at all at this point. I'm in Lakewood sometimes, a lot of the folks there are go back and forth from NYC; with gas prices now, I am pretty sure they would use MOM if given the option.
Sorry for the long post, I've had a lot of thoughts/ideas regarding MOM from all the replies I've read over the last few days.
  by R&DB
 
John wrote:
You would also probably have to increase the FRA rating of the tracks along the line to make it faster.
Not probably. The current FRA Class of the Southern Secondary and the FIT are "Excepted", which translates as Class 0. Excepted allows NO PASSENGERS and freight may not exceed 10 mph. Passenger service would require at least Class 3 or 4. Class 3 allows 60 mph Passenger with Class 4 at 80 mph.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_spee ... ted_States
terminus of MOM shouldn't be Lakehurst
They planned to store trains in a yard in Lakehurst Naval Station. And the tracks into Toms River are gone, The line ends at the turnout to the former Ciba property.
Last edited by R&DB on Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
R&DB wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:20 pm John wrote:
You would also probably have to increase the FRA rating of the tracks along the line to make it faster.
Not probably. The current FRA Class of the Southern Secondary and the FIT are "Excepted", which translates as Class 0. Excepted allows NO PASSENGERS and freight may not exceed 10 mph. Passenger service would require at least Class 3 o 4. Class 3 allows 60 mph Passenger with Class 4 at 80 mph.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_spee ... ted_States
Forgot to mention that under *any* MOM plan, I would expect them to at the bare minimum get the track to the minimal FRA passenger rating, which seems to be a Class 3. Are there any railroads in NJ/the country that use Class I or Class II, outside of tourist lines?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
R&DB wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:20 pm
terminus of MOM shouldn't be Lakehurst
They planned to store trains in a yard in Lakehurst Naval Station. And the tracks into Toms River are gone, The line ends at the turnout to the former Ciba property.
A storage facility would be fine, but if that's the case they shouldn't be too worried about significantly upgrading/adding rail and stations south of Lakewood if they are concerned about saving cash. They could do that at a later date

The tracks might be gone, but the ROW is still there and in tact. It's not a far distance from Ciba-Geigy out to the Park and Ride, AFAIK. They would have to be laying down significant track for sidings/passings as well as relaying a lot of older rail, so I don't think reactiviating Ciba-TRPAR would be that much of an issue for NJT
  by R&DB
 
The tracks might be gone, but the ROW is still there and in tact. It's not a far distance from Ciba-Geigy out to the Park and Ride, AFAIK. They would have to be laying down significant track for sidings/passings as well as relaying a lot of older rail, so I don't think reactiviating Ciba-TRPAR would be that much of an issue for NJT
2 miles of track,2 bridges, convert gus station to dul-use bus and rail. A lot of crossing protections in an area with lots of very senior drivers. The track from Red Bank south would need to be at least Class 4 to be time-competitive with buses/driving on the Parkway.
Last edited by R&DB on Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by R&DB
 
The tracks might be gone, but the ROW is still there and in tact. It's not a far distance from Ciba-Geigy out to the Park and Ride, AFAIK. They would have to be laying down significant track for sidings/passings as well as relaying a lot of older rail, so I don't think reactiviating Ciba-TRPAR would be that much of an issue for NJT
Rebuild about two miles of track and build two bridges. Also reconfigure the bus terminal to include a train sttation. A lot of crossing protection that does not exist. (Every crossing TOMS RIVER to Red Bank ia at grade.)
Terminating in Toms River will not take much traffic off rte9. It may take some off the Parkway, but it has to be time competitive with driving at 65mph. This means minimum Class 4 track the entire way.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
R&DB wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:21 pm
The tracks might be gone, but the ROW is still there and in tact. It's not a far distance from Ciba-Geigy out to the Park and Ride, AFAIK. They would have to be laying down significant track for sidings/passings as well as relaying a lot of older rail, so I don't think reactiviating Ciba-TRPAR would be that much of an issue for NJT
Rebuild about two miles of track and build two bridges. Also reconfigure the bus terminal to include a train sttation. A lot of crossing protection that does not exist. (Every crossing TOMS RIVER to Red Bank ia at grade.)
Terminating in Toms River will not take much traffic off rte9. It may take some off the Parkway, but it has to be time competitive with drivig at 65mph. This means minimum Class 4 track the entire way.
That is another issue about MOM, the plan was always focusing on one highway over another instead of focusing on ALL the major central/south Jersey highways. A dual pronged MOM would take traffic off of Route 18, the Parkway, Route 9, and even 195 and 33.

Toms River might not be the best terminus, but in terms of public transportation in the area and the growing population, I think it is necessary to have it be a terminus due to its population density. Of course it would need to be competitive and take as little stops as possible. This means Toms River or anything further south than Lakewood should not be considered part of MOM until the Gateway Tunnels are complete, meaning more dedicated express trains can operate on the expanded capacity. Travel time is obviously very important when considering this plan, but with the rate of development in Central Jersey at this time, even a 50MPH shuttle to either Red Bank or Jamesburg/Monmouth Junction is necessary to even take a fraction of congestion off the roads. I don't think it can wait any longer; just see how many massive, sprawling apartment complexes and developments are being built along major roadways like 33.

I'm expecting with the C&D takeover of both the SOUS and FIT that they will add better crossing protection; some crossings technically don't have ANY protection right now as the flashing lights won't work at them. If C&D upgrades most of the track to at least 25 MPH, they will need to add crossing protection like gates and what not anyway, especially if traffic increases. This doesn't include Farmingdale-Red Bank since I don't think much will be going on there once FIT-SOUS are connected.

MOM will end up being pretty expensive which is why a) it should start in smaller phases and finish out in bigger ones b) if it's going to require this much money NJT might as well go all the way and create MOM West and MOM North and c) serve as many potential customers as possible, and not focus too much on individual highway routes to steal traffic from. All the highways here are essentially right on top of each other (literally in the case of route 9 and the Parkway in some spots).
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB Most people on the parkway go 75-80 MPH with the slower ones going around 70.
  by R&DB
 
The majority of posters on this topic continue to refer to it as MOM. MOM was conceiveed in the "80s as a relief of highway traffic on Rte-9 . Obviously it has never happened. The original concept was commuters. Not going to happen due to travel time, faster to drive. I know, commuted from sw Howell to North Jersey for 18 years..
As several poasters have reconized the real need is regional trasnsport.
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