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N-Trizzy2609

NJ Transit's M.O.M. Line in Jeopardy.

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Before I you read, keep in mind, this is still on-going.

July 15, 2009 My Central NJ

 

The MOM line was first envisioned in the 1970s as an alternative to a Turnpike spur from Interchange 8A to Toms River. MOM was supposed to be the alternate to the automobile as the residents of Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties would flock to these trains to commute to work. The original idea was based upon 1960s political rhetoric about the evils of the internal combustion engine and how mass transit was the answer to all transportation issues. How wrong they were.

 

The estimates of population growth in the targeted areas came true, but the demographics changed from the desired yuppie category to retirees. There is no way that the thousands of retirees in Ocean and southern Middlesex County are going to ride the train to Newark and NYC. Why would they?

 

The Home News Tribune reported in the 1990s that MOM would only be two trains in the morning and two in the afternoon. However, recently NJ Transit has announced that there will now be 16 trains per day — eight in the morning and eight in the afternoon. With the retirees staying home, who would ride these 16 trains? A full train would have about 1,000 passengers. However, even if the trains were full, which they won't be, how much will the taxpayers have to shell out to subsidize the ticket revenue shortfalls?

 

Currently NJ Transit receives about one-third of its revenue from fares with the balance coming from public subsidies. Finances aside, none of the proponents of MOM seem to care about the disruption that will be caused in towns such as Freehold and Jamesburg as these trains will stop traffic at the worst possible time, during the rush hours. This assumes that all of the rolling stock is functioning properly. An equipment breakdown would be catastrophic as there would only be one track for repair crews to use to reach the breakdown and crossing points could be blocked for hours.

 

The Home News Tribune needs to accept reality. Reality is MOM is not, and never has been, needed. What is needed is a concerted effort to create jobs for New Jersey residents, in New Jersey, not in New York. A great place to start would be to find a way to fill the vacant office building at Prospect Plains Road and Cranbury South River Road in Cranbury at Turnpike interchange 8A. The building is 500,000 square feet of class "A" office space, which could comfortably house 1,500 persons. If a tenant could be found for this building, then it would be a good start to help re-build the industrial powerhouse that New Jersey once was.

 

HAROLD V. KANE

 

Monroe Township

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Middlesex county is causing more problems for us trying to get this route built then anyother place, apparently Mr. Kane has not read the facts or does not really ever venture into Monmouth or Ocean counties it would seem. Just because people in his town would not use it does not mean that people in the surrounding towns would not use it as well. I don't think he realizes that Freehold wants rail service or that when the train does come through Jamesburg it does not cause any traffic disruptions nor does it do it in Freehold either and the freight train comes through Freehold at Rush hour. As for this what if it breaks down on single track, give me a break NJT runs plenty of trains each day on single track portions and when there are problems they are solved very quicky. I say build MOM and don't build any stations in middlesex then when they complain they have not train service but the line passes through their towns wait 30 more years and build them stations then.

 

Sorry for the rant but stories like this one about MOM just get me ticked off.

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I agree entirely. The point is that the rail line has to pass through Middlesex County or else it cannot exist. Just b/c Middlesex County doesn't want to fund the rail restoration doesn't mean that they should assume the authority in terminating the project. If Freehold Twp, Monmouth, and Ocean County wants to fund the route including the segment at Middlesex, then Middlesex County should give up the ultimate decision. Either way, Middlesex County doesn't need to fund the project. However in NJ, one county implementing a policy could terminate the ultimate power of other counties. I doubt that this project would be starting at all by the fact that it's going to be electrified as well. I'm sure there are no substations along the route yet and it might be necessary to build one in Middlesex County that draws power from Middlesex County. Is this where the actual problem comes in?

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No plans here for electrification but there is an old substation from the Pennsy days in Helmetta. On the Camden and Amboy now the CSAO Amboy Secondary. The portion of the MOM line that runs where with cat poles still is now CSAO Dayton Branch, that runs between Monmouth Junction and Jamesburg(photo link below), the Freehold to Farmingdale now the Freehold Industrial Track does not have cat poles.

 

http://kaback9.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1634447

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I'm actually quite certain that NJT would electrify that portion b/c all NJT trains except the ACES run under catenary south of Rahway. Even diesel these days are getting expensive.

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What really ticks me off is that they have the Matawan and Red Bank alignment study and they don't report back. I live just 500 feet away from the Matawan Alignment and well it a bike trail now, which end abruptly just south of Route 520 and reemerges again from Pleasant Valley Road to Church Street in Matawan then continues unpaved to the parking lot of Matawan Station. Now the Red Bank Alignment have the fewest crossing since most of it is grade separated and to top it there's a high tension line with "K" style poles above it. Now this alighment would stop in Howell, Colts Neck, Farmingdale and goes straight to Lakewood. I don't understand why they just don't built the Red Bank Line! I'm sick of delays and talk. The tracks are there, the station sites are clear just bring it on!

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I'm actually quite certain that NJT would electrify that portion b/c all NJT trains except the ACES run under catenary south of Rahway. Even diesel these days are getting expensive.

 

 

No plans for electrification. I'm looking at the NJT Official plans right now and I have been invloved with this project for sometime going to meetings and such, there has never been any inclination of electrification. It will be a diesel shuttle to Newark and the dualmodes(now not originally) will run some trains to NYP maybe.

 

Nick they have reported back on the Matawan and Red Bank routes in the news and you can always just ask NJT, Red Bank does not want it and all the towns on the NJCL are blocking it along with the Matawan alignment. Instead they are supporting NJT with going ahead with the via Monmouth Junction route. Sorry to tell you but the best numbers were for the route by your home as well as mine I live with in a mile of it across 79. The Red Bank route makes no sense as it does not serve Western Monmouth County where traffic problems from route 9 are the worse. I am pro Matawan however since it parallels route 9 something the other routes do not do, however I accept the Monmouth Jct route as the next best alternative and have been pushing for it now since Matawan is all but off the table.

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Instead they are supporting NJT with going ahead with the via Monmouth Junction route. The Red Bank route makes no sense as it does not serve Western Monmouth County where traffic problems from route 9 are the worse. I am pro Matawan however since it parallels route 9 something the other routes do not do, however I accept the Monmouth Jct route as the next best alternative and have been pushing for it now since Matawan is all but off the table.

 

I never wanted the Matawan Alignment, while it's very close it has way too many dangerous crossing especially crossing Route 79 twice!.

 

The Monmouth Junction line is needed, Idk Idc just built it! Also if this DOES happen, I can get a one seat ride to Metuchen!!! But by then I'll have car and who nose if ill still be with Christine.

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Crossing 79 is not a problem. They would put in quad gates, I asked about this. Also they had discussed making 79 in Marlboro a bridge under or over the line. The crossing in Matawan is not as bad since its 35, also trains did it until 83 IIRC when Imperial Oil closed down.

 

Truth is Monmouth Junction while a nice route needs the most work, and cooperation with Amtrak, which is not fun especially since of what work would need to be done around Monmouth Junction and Midway, currently Monmouth Junction only goes West towards Trenton. You can see this from the train, there is also access from a street that will remain unnamed. The only thing that Monmouth Junction would do is give you the opportunity to ride one seat to Philly or going east New Brunswick to Metropark something accomplished by on Matawan route by switching to a NEC local at Rahway or any station east. But if the main goal is to get cars off route 9(which is the main road through the areas targeted by MOM) than the Matawan alignment accomplishes this the best. The only other option is more buses and that is the last thing we need as it does not solve the problem. Also since Middlesex really does want no part in this I for one am rid of taking them out completely.

 

Like I said though in another post Matawn has been shelved so that only leaves Red Bank and Monmouth Jct and given those two choices I prefer Monmouth Junction, since Red Bank serves no one in Western Monmouth County.

Edited by kaback9

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Regarding Monmouth Jct, I think it's best to add a NY bound island/termius platform at Jersey Ave and have the line run like Metro North's New Canaan Branch in the manner of a shuttle. The Monmouth Line would most likely have less than five stations and therefore don't require direct trains to NY. I've seen that the New Canaan trains are packed most of the time, but it doesn't justify that there are enough for direct trains to GCT. Or if direct trains are necessary, then perhaps eliminate trains originating from Jersey Avenue and have them originate from Ocean/Monmouth County instead to relieve some Rush congestion.

 

Regarding the Quad RR Crossing, I've never seen it used on passenger lines before and had always assumed them to be quite expensive/time consuming for installation especially on a busy NJ highway.

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With the quad crossing its that or a more expensive and more problematic for traffic bridge construction. I'll take Quad gates if it comes down to that.

 

Anyway, Jersey Ave is supposed to be moved further down. Or at least thats what NJT wants to do but yet again Middlesex County is causing problems with that too.

 

Regarding the shuttle idea, I have thought about that as well but then I realized you still need to do the track work around Monmouth Junction to make it work, and at that point might as well have the trains go all the way to Newark, Hoboken and dual modes to NYP. If they were to build a shuttle between Monmouth Junction and Lakehurst that could work but that adds another station in an area of the corridor where trains really try to get some speed. I guess if you took out Jersey Ave and built a new Monmouth Junction Station to replace it with the MOM shuttle arriving there as well it could work.

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A new Monmouth Jct station would just mean another few million drained if not properly used. Right now, the primary focus is the ARC project and NJT would prioritize in devoting any left over budget money into that for the time being. Monmouth Jct station could be a colossal failure if there are not enough people using that station. I mean everyone stated earlier that Middlesex County never wanted this project.

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You do realize that MOM would draw a large amount of ridership if done correctly right? I don't want a Monmouth Jct shuttle or station, like I said I want the Matawan route which completely take Middlesex out of the equation but since that will not happen I except Monmouth Jct as the way to go. However under that plan I don't want a station at Mon Jct since it would kill time of other NEC trains which can attain some speed through that area(Jersey Ave - Princeton Junction) as of now.

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However under that plan I don't want a station at Mon Jct since it would kill time of other NEC trains which can attain some speed through that area(Jersey Ave - Princeton Junction) as of now.

 

I agree especially if Amtrak/FRA upgrades the speed limit.

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I agree especially if Amtrak/FRA upgrades the speed limit.

 

I'm praying that happens potentially you could get the Acela up to 150 in that area, and when NJT gets the 46a's and (crossing my fingers) allows them and the ML's to go 125mph in that area.

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I'm praying that happens potentially you could get the Acela up to 150 in that area, and when NJT gets the 46a's and (crossing my fingers) allows them and the ML's to go 125mph in that area.

 

Trust me, if the UAC Turbo train had hit around 170 mph between New Brunswick and Trenton back in the 60s, then I'm sure that the Acela can hit at least 175 mph as they were geared for much higher just as the HHP-8 were geared for 135 mph. As for the ALP-46As, they should be geared to 135 mph to suffice future needs. Practically the tracks in that section of the NEC are cleared for at least 170 mph. All Amtrak needs is to install more "Ks" between the catenary poles, attach the cross arms, and tension the wires. If it cannot be done on all 4 tracks, then it should just be the express tracks and restrict the Acela only on the express tracks. Also the future Amfleets (or a newer name) should be cleared for 135 mph.

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Trust me, if the UAC Turbo train had hit around 170 mph between New Brunswick and Trenton back in the 60s, then I'm sure that the Acela can hit at least 175 mph as they were geared for much higher just as the HHP-8 were geared for 135 mph. As for the ALP-46As, they should be geared to 135 mph to suffice future needs. Practically the tracks in that section of the NEC are cleared for at least 170 mph. All Amtrak needs is to install more "Ks" between the catenary poles, attach the cross arms, and tension the wires. If it cannot be done on all 4 tracks, then it should just be the express tracks and restrict the Acela only on the express tracks. Also the future Amfleets (or a newer name) should be cleared for 135 mph.

 

Even if something is geared for 135 FRA rules state that 125 is the max for conventional equipment on HSR. The reason for this has to do with derailments. The Acela has a MAS of 165 IIRC but the FRA allows them to do a MAS on the NEC of 150, which is plenty fast for a heavy trainset like that. Bringing this back into NJ Transit if they ever did upgrade the speeds that would be the death blow for Arrows and Comets on the NEC West of Rahway since CL sets will continue to have them.

 

Also to bring this back to MOM I hiked portions of the lines they want to use today.

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