• Northern Branch HBLR (was DMU proposal)

  • 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

  by Defiant
I wonder if this HBLR expansion is also the most expensive in the world, just like SAS?
  by Duke87
No reason to let more be the enemy of some. An extension to Englewood is still a useful expansion of HBLR service... and it does not preclude further extension in the future should Tenafly change their minds or somehow have their complaints appeased.
  by Jeff Smith
Sid Farkus wrote:Surprised the Northern Branch never became a full commuter line running in the line’s entirety. The Northern Valley lacks any commuter rail line, and this line runs through the heart of multiple towns that house many commuters into NYC.
I for one, and I freely admit to foaming a bit on this one, wish they'd reactivate the line all the way up to Nyack, in New York. And yes, screw Tenafly!

I know much of the ROW is trailed now, and I'm pretty sure rail banking ends at the NY/NJ border. So north of there is probably a no-go. However, this would be an even better route than the West Shore Line (which I happily rode last fall on Amtrak's Autumn Express). More separation from the Pascack Valley (which actually ran up to Piermont and connected with the West Shore line at one time I think).

Realistic? Probably not.
  by Greg
Correct, via the wye in Sparkill but the connection was not a direct one if I recall correctly, it required a reverse move. The other side went through Piermont on its way to Nyack.
  by ebtmikado
The NJ&NY Railroad (Pascack Valley Line) mainline ran to New City. Its Haverstraw Branch went to Haverstraw. Neither went to Piermont. The Piermont Branch (original Erie mainline) ran from Piermont Pier to Dunkirk, NY, on Lake Erie, via Spring Valley, Suffern, Binghamton, etc.
  by MaRoFu
Back to the light rail...

My biggest question that I have addressed previously is the access to Palisades Park station from Broad Ave-Koreatown, which is the heart of the borough.

From what I can see on Google Earth, access between Broad Avenue and the future Palisades Park station is horrid... There doesn't appear to be any direct crosswalk on Grand Avenue... Hopefully the station will put pressure on the borough to install better access in the future...

I've heard news that Tenafly wants to turn the remaining Northern Branch into a rail trail... Someone needs to stop this NIMBY infested borough before this insane plan goes into action... (apparently Cresskill and Demarest may be in on it too.) Tenafly still needs to get approval of ALL municipalities on the remainder of the line however, and I'm pretty sure Closter and Norwood are unlikely to pitch in on this. Maybe we might see HBLR extension to Northvale or separate DMU system...

Apparently Edgewater has received a request from a developer to build a luxury apartment and hotel on a lot...That is in front of the Edgewater Tunnel... Great, another potential obstacle towards further extension... Fortunately it seems that Edgewater has had more of a NIMBYish attitude towards luxury development recently, so it's unlikely that this will get through. There should be a reason why that lot next to the tunnel is only used for vehicle parking. Hopefully we can see an HBLR branch through it or an extension of the Passaic-Bergen DMU line.

(PIPE DREAM CONTENT AHEAD) And finally, I know Overpeck Park is served well by the Northern Branch, but you could build a people-mover system in the park and through the business center where Samsung is located. It could terminate at Leonia HBLR and Palisades Park HBLR, and also use Metro Card... (END)

All in all, I guess there hasn't been that much happening since the project was approved for design a month ago... I wish it could go faster but that's just impossible nowadays because NJ Transit. Ciao.
  by Roadgeek Adam
If Tenafly, Cresskill and Demarest want to turn it into a rail-trail, let them. Rustin and co. in Tenafly isn't going to support the project of extending the railroad. End of story. Forget it. It's dead forever.
  by airman00
Not to start anything forgive me, but caving into “nimbys” is a slippery slope we shouldn’t be going down...
  by Roadgeek Adam
I'd love to have a Northern Branch to Northvale, even to Sparkill. I also know its never going to happen. We can have hundreds of supporters. We will also have hundreds of rich people with connections that have more power than we ever will. If it means caving to them, so it goes.
  by MaRoFu
Although I can somewhat understand the possible drop of business properties in Tenafly (parking lots of businesses may need to be removed, and a road in central Tenafly must be narrowed), I think they may have somewhat over-exaggerated it. Also, the other issues regarding traffic and noise can either be easily resolved or are pretty weak arguments. Why not try replacing the grade crossings in Downtown Tenafly with light rail crossings (ex. Downtown Jersey City)? They briefly allow cars to pass through when the light rail is nearby, while grade crossings go down a minute before a train arrives. It really doesn't take too long for the train to pass through anyways. Also, was NJT thinking about building the Tenafly station at the Erie station site? Of course that won't be possible. Just build it slightly north after the two crossings. Also, light rail trains aren't exactly noisy, or at least not as noisy as the slow CSX freight trains that went through the borough. I've heard that municipalities along the HBLR initially thought it would bring negative side effects. Now look at them today. Unfortunately, this is still probably not enough to convince one of the most NIMBY boroughs in the whole county. I guess we should just wait till Rustin is out of office before we take another chance a light rail to Nyack area...

If this is how well a light rail line to Tenafly worked out, then I don't even want to think about how a light rail branch to Alpine (or any rail line whatsoever) would work out.
Last edited by MaRoFu on Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Roadgeek Adam
The proposed Tenafly station was actually south of Clinton Avenue, a block south of the old Erie depot.

Regardless, the Clinton, Washington and Riveredge crossings are the ones that are Tenafly's big issue, particularly the Clinton one. Because of that crappily designed intersection (Clinton, Piermont and County), I can understand why traffic tieups are an issue. You could probably have terminated the service at Tenafly station and just cut off Tenafly North and not deal with those crossings.

As for Tenafly North, the station is probably because there's little room for a Cresskill station proper. The old Erie depot was in the middle of the three way-fork in Cresskill, which is really small for a station.

Tracks die before Tappan, but basically, the rest are easy situations with the exception of Closter.

Demarest - the Erie depot (Probably NIMBY fight 2)
Closter - Closter Dock Road
Norwood - Broadway (the old Erie depot site)
Northvale - Paris Avenue (the old Erie depot site)

The problem with Northvale that comes to mind is ridership. Who wants to go from Northvale to Jersey City?
  by MaRoFu
Whoops! I said the HBLR should go to Nyack previously, I meant to say a station at Tappan before the rail trail.

And apparently every other town on the line has approved of that rail trail Tenafly wanted to establish... They even founded a joint organization... Maybe NJ Transit doesn't have any interest in serving the towns?
  by MaRoFu
I know it's obnoxious to post twice in a row, but I have a few things I need to say.

First off, check out this article regarding Mayor Rustin's decision on blocking the extension. Definitely worth a read.
http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017 ... fight.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What I find most interesting is what Rustin said at the end, as if he was accusing NJ Transit of not addressing his problems. Yes, properties from businesses will need to be lost unless NJT decides to single track the line at certain spots, but problems regarding grade crossings and noise problems (not a problem at all actually) can be easily solved, as I demonstrated earlier.

If a freak accident occurs on Friday the 13th during a blue moon and all the planets align, plus a majority of residents change their minds with changes, then just maybe Rustin will be convinced. By the time a Tenafly extension happens though, he would already be out of office.

Yes, I know that not many people may want to ride from Tappan to Jersey City, but there are definitely passengers that want to go from, say, Northvale to Palisades Park or Weehawken to Closter. We need to stop amplifying the "Hudson" part of the name and try to focus a little more on transporting people within Bergen County, in order for the "Hudson Light Rail" to truly become the "Hudson Bergen Light Rail."
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