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QM1to6Ave

Penn Station to New Brunswick

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Some of you might have seen my post in the Amtrak section that my job may require me to do some daily commuting. One option I was presented with is going from the city to New brunswick Monday through Friday. I'd have to arrive at new Brunswick at 9 am and I'd usually leave by 6 pm. NJ Transit says it is about an hour ride, which is very nice.

 

Anyone know how reliable those rides generally are? How packed will the train be in the morning and night? Can I depend on it on a daily base?

 

Thanks for any info, guys.

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The NEC tends to be pretty crowded during AM rush, but that's going Northbound. Southbound, I don't know. You may get some minor delays because Amtrak has the ROW. And remember to check the train status for any delays before you leave for the train station in the morning. If there happens to be a major delay, then go to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and catch Coach USA Suburban to New Brunswick.

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The NEC tends to be pretty crowded during AM rush, but that's going Northbound. Southbound, I don't know. You may get some minor delays because Amtrak has the ROW. And remember to check the train status for any delays before you leave for the train station in the morning. If there happens to be a major delay, then go to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and catch Coach USA Suburban to New Brunswick.

Thanks for the advice. I would thing that going towards jersey in the morning would be less crowded, but who knows, especially since it also goes to Trenton

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Transitkid gave some good advice there....

 

The NEC is reliable (well at least for me, it has been), but it lags - That's the main problem I have w/ that line.....

 

NEC southbound in the morning, you mainly have ppl. taking that to Newark-Penn for the RVL line (it & the NJCL are used interchangably for this reason).... If not for that purpose, riders heading past Newark mainly disembark at Elizabeth, Metropark, New Brunswick & Princeton Junction (you won't have to worry about princeton since you wouldn't be heading that far south)..... But yeh, Trains'll be somewhat crowded, but you'll notice a large chunk of the crowd disembarking at newark-penn....

 

AM ridership to Trenton isn't as heavy as you might think....

Edited by B35 via Church
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Transitkid gave some good advice there....

 

The NEC is reliable (well at least for me, it has been), but it lags - That's the main problem I have w/ that line.....

 

NEC southbound in the morning, you mainly have ppl. taking that to Newark-Penn for the RVL line (it & the NJCL are used interchangably for this reason).... If not for that purpose, riders heading past Newark mainly disembark at Elizabeth, Metropark, New Brunswick & Princeton Junction (you won't have to worry about princeton since you wouldn't be heading that far south)..... But yeh, Trains'll be somewhat crowded, but you'll notice a large chunk of the crowd disembarking at newark-penn....

 

AM ridership towards Trenton isn't as heavy as you might think....

Awesome, thanks you guys!

 

BTW, I'm assuming there are no outlets on the train, right? Is it normally those double decker trains?

 

Also, what do you mean by it "lags", B35?

Edited by QM1to6Ave
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Awesome, thanks you guys!

 

BTW, I'm assuming there are no outlets on the train, right? Is it normally those double decker trains?

 

Also, what do you mean by it "lags", B35?

Sure, np....

 

What I meant by that is that the NEC is slow (the slowest out of all the NJT lines IMO).... feels like trains aren't/don't move any faster than 10 mph throughout the whole ride.... you'll see what I mean when you end up taking them..... shouldn't have to spend almost 2 hours riding from trenton to penn; it's ridiculous.... since you'd be coming from New brunswick, knock off about 1/2 hour (from trenton to new brunswick is about 1/2 hour).... Sounds about right because the last time I was out in N. Brunswick (and JUST missed the bus back to PABT; the same service transitkid is talking; picks up right across the street from the RR station), I ended up taking the NEC back to NYC & that ride was closer to 90 mins than 60 mins. (as the schedule suggests)......

 

They have trains in the morning that go straight from the Airport stop to Metropark, then the rest of the stops southward (which includes new brunswick) - so if you catch one of those trains in the morning, you'll save like what, 10 mins.... However, during the pm rush, all trains that stop at N. Brunswick are coming up from trenton & they make every stop along the way (outside of n. elizabeth & jersey ave) - Because they have the short turn trains start up towards NY-penn at Rahway....

 

They do run the bi-levels on the NEC (I don't wanna say rarely, but it's not common though), but more often than not, they run the bombardier's on that line.... the bi-levels are ran more on the RVL & the NJCL (to Long Branch)....

Edited by B35 via Church
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They have trains in the morning that go straight from the Airport stop to Metropark, then the rest of the stops southward (which includes new brunswick) - so if you catch one of those trains in the morning, you'll save like what, 10 mins.... However, during the pm rush, all trains are coming up from trenton & they make every stop along the way (outside of n. elizabeth & jersey ave) - Because they have the short turn trains start up towards NY-penn at Rahway....

 

I think those short-turns are just trains coming from the NJCL that they put on the NEC schedule.

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Based on my AM experiences when heading down the Corridor sometimes, the AM Rush Hour service on NJT NEC Line isn't bad. Never had an issue with trains being delayed. If you wanna avoid delays, get on the right train, and the right time. Knowing anything on the Northeast Corridor can cause you to be late.

 

Crowd related..... You may deal with some crowd at NYP and NWK Penn, but after that, things get smooth. Northbound IS where the headache is at. Heh even from looking out of my NEC train passing Harrison PATH its packed as hell, with people heading inbound. Train coming into the station, its already full.

 

If you wanna deal with less crowd, just get to the first few cars of the train (Some trips have the Quiet car, which is the first car exclusively) You just better hope you get a Multilevel, if you end up with a Comet or Arrow (Non- MLV), surely its gonna get packed.

 

As for your outlet question. the NJT trains don't come with outlets at every seat. Likely you will need to check the car ends or around the doors for that.

Sure, np....

 

What I meant by that is that the NEC is slow (the slowest out of all the NJT lines IMO).... feels like trains aren't/don't move any faster than 10 mph throughout the whole ride.... you'll see what I mean when you end up taking them..... shouldn't have to spend almost 2 hours riding from trenton to penn; it's ridiculous.... since you'd be coming from New brunswick, knock off about 1/2 hour (from trenton to new brunswick is about 1/2 hour).... Sounds about right because the last time I was out in N. Brunswick (and JUST missed the bus back to PABT; the same service transitkid is talking; picks up right across the street from the RR station), I ended up taking the NEC back to NYC & that ride was closer to 90 mins than 60 mins. (as the schedule suggests)......

 

They have trains in the morning that go straight from the Airport stop to Metropark, then the rest of the stops southward (which includes new brunswick) - so if you catch one of those trains in the morning, you'll save like what, 10 mins.... However, during the pm rush, all trains are coming up from trenton & they make every stop along the way (outside of n. elizabeth & jersey ave) - Because they have the short turn trains start up towards NY-penn at Rahway....

 

They do run the bi-levels on the NEC (I don't wanna say rarely, but it's not common though), but more often than not, they run the bombardier's on that line.... the bi-levels are ran more on the RVL & the NJCL (to Long Branch)....

The problem with slow service is due to the North River Tunnels being just two tubes. There is a LOT of trains combined using those tubes in and out. (Amtrak Acela, NER, Silver Star/Meter, Keystone, etc.. NJT's NEC, NJCL, M&E/MBL [w/branches] ). They require bunching, with Amtrak getting priorities always. There are even times when BOTH tubes have to be used for inbound or even outbound service, which causes delays. NEC Line itself will get back to normal south of Liberty Airport. If a slow down occurs, Amtrak could be the reason... Priorities. Especially between New Brunswick and Princeton JCT, where meet ups usually occur.

 

Back to the tunnel, which also plays a role. This is why I hope to see the Gateway Tunnel come in. It has to happen to lower the overly capacitated tunnels being used. Plus with Amtrak having a vision for High Speed service, not happening unless the new tubes are in.

 

For the MLV. the NEC sees a lot of the Multilevel sets everyday. The RVL is another. But both at times would use the comets mixed in. Arrows, mainly NEC I see em. NJCL mainly uses the Comets, but also at times MLV.

I think those short-turns are just trains coming from the NJCL that they put on the NEC schedule.

They do have short-turns along the Coast Line however. South Amboy and Matawan (Electric only). Not sure if trains are also stored along the Corridor. Edited by mark1447
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njcl train are stored at long branch(last stop for electric). matawan had 2 side track for turn around. south amboy had one side track for turnaround. matawan and south amboy never get a stored train.

 

 

NEC get short run at Rahway stop. i seen this on the schedule due to high loads from rahway to nyps.

 

 

Also NEC is very heavy line because it stop at most colleges along the way.

New Brunswick is Rutger

Princeton is Princeton

Elizabeth is Union County College

Edison had a college there as well. (not sure of the name)

Metuchen also have a college as well. (not sure of the name)

 

There is some super express on NEC but it may not stop at New Brunswick. 

I took trenton bound one time and it went from airport straight to princeton. that was awesome ride. also i was close one time coming from philly and almost got on super express to newark.

Edited by pjbr40
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Really appreciate the info, everyone!

 

It sounds like the trip would be more crowded than I expected, but still manageable. What about this bus route some people have mentioned? Should I look into it as a regular alternative to the train? I would have thought the train would generally be faster, but what do I know. 

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Really appreciate the info, everyone!

 

It sounds like the trip would be more crowded than I expected, but still manageable. What about this bus route some people have mentioned? Should I look into it as a regular alternative to the train? I would have thought the train would generally be faster, but what do I know. 

time of day sometimes the bus is much faster where are you going to and from?

 

njcl train are stored at long branch(last stop for electric). matawan had 2 side track for turn around. south amboy had one side track for turnaround. matawan and south amboy never get a stored train.

 

 

NEC get short run at Rahway stop. i seen this on the schedule due to high loads from rahway to nyps.

 

 

Also NEC is very heavy line because it stop at most colleges along the way.

New Brunswick is Rutger

Princeton is Princeton

Elizabeth is Union County College

Edison had a college there as well. (not sure of the name)

Metuchen also have a college as well. (not sure of the name)

 

There is some super express on NEC but it may not stop at New Brunswick. 

I took trenton bound one time and it went from airport straight to princeton. that was awesome ride. also i was close one time coming from philly and almost got on super express to newark.

so that is where those riders come from that explains the loads.

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Really appreciate the info, everyone!

 

It sounds like the trip would be more crowded than I expected, but still manageable. What about this bus route some people have mentioned? Should I look into it as a regular alternative to the train? I would have thought the train would generally be faster, but what do I know.

Well both Bus and Trains has its pros and cons. When it comes to buses, who knows if the Lincoln Tunnel/NJ495 is tied up. Thats just like the NEC's North River Tunnels. Except there are three tubes to carry traffic.. But likely it shouldn't be that bad, like the train since most of the crowd will be going inbound. And as QJ says, depends on the time of day this is happening. Try out both, and see what the outcomes are.
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time of day sometimes the bus is much faster where are you going to and from?

I'll be coming from Manhattan to New Brunswick in the morning, and back to the city at night, around 6 or 7. 

 

Well both Bus and Trains has its pros and cons. When it comes to buses, who knows if the Lincoln Tunnel/NJ495 is tied up. Thats just like the NEC's North River Tunnels. Except there are three tubes to carry traffic.. But likely it shouldn't be that bad, like the train since most of the crowd will be going inbound. And as QJ says, depends on the time of day this is happening. Try out both, and see what the outcomes are.

I think that is what I may end up doing. I am usually more wary about the NJ roads, from my own driving experience and with NJ Transit buses, so all else equal I'd probably generally stick to the train.

 

But I'm quite glad to know that there is an alternative for those days where the trains are just fubar'ed

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BTW just so I didn't confuse anyone. When I mean packed, I mean that seats are taken. Unless you share, but even at that point is still Standing room only, which doesn't mean the train is packed all the way, like the Subway.

 

Good Luck QM1to6ave btw!

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so that is where those riders come from that explains the loads.

 

You really think those riders are only coming from the colleges?

 

It's the dense towns/cities in general along the line. Trenton is dense, Princeton itself (not Princeton Junction) is pretty dense, New Brunswick is dense, and the cities from Rahway on up are all pretty dense. And then you have big park-and-ride stops like Metropark (not to mention all the offices out there).

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njcl train are stored at long branch(last stop for electric). matawan had 2 side track for turn around. south amboy had one side track for turnaround. matawan and south amboy never get a stored train.

 

 

NEC get short run at Rahway stop. i seen this on the schedule due to high loads from rahway to nyps.

 

 

Also NEC is very heavy line because it stop at most colleges along the way.

New Brunswick is Rutger

Princeton is Princeton

Elizabeth is Union County College

Edison had a college there as well. (not sure of the name)

Metuchen also have a college as well. (not sure of the name)

 

There is some super express on NEC but it may not stop at New Brunswick. 

I took trenton bound one time and it went from airport straight to princeton. that was awesome ride. also i was close one time coming from philly and almost got on super express to newark.

I believe you & QJT might be right.... Back when I would ride out to Trenton, I remember there being only 2 super express (or w/e you wanna call em) trips in the morning; the one straight to princeton junction & the one straight to new brunswick (both, from the airport stop)... If that's not things are set up anymore, then feel free to correct me.... To be honest, I didn't think they still had em anymore, that's why I didn't suggest em to the man (QM1) earlier..... Anyway, at the time, I only been on the one that went straight to new brunswick...

 

For the ride back to NYP though, I would always end up on the slow local that made every stop (except for jersey av & n elizabeth)....

 

 

As for the colleges, NJT Metuchen is where those middlesex county college students disembark & xfer to #813's for.... and around NJT Edison, there's a Rutgers campus out there on the other side of the river from new brunswick....

Edited by B35 via Church

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trenton express is still out there even after Superstorm SANDY. got use the website and check if that train will help you get there at right time. right now they took off the paper version off on the website. it may come back later once they are fully back on track with their equipment. please keep in mind of the reminder on the bottom of any schedule. "Schedule are subject to change without notice" regarding to maintenance issue as well after SANDY.  Those trenton express can be on the schedule for days and later it might disappear without warning. 

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The NEC service is 100% pre sandy normal

That's good to know, thanks. I'll be trying out the NEC today and tomorrow to see how it goes. 

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I used the NEC a bunch of times over the last few days to get to and from New Brunswick and it worked out perfectly well. It was on time very time, and I got a seat even at rush hour. I don't love the rush in Penn Station all that much, but that was about the only bad part. 

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I used the NEC a bunch of times over the last few days to get to and from New Brunswick and it worked out perfectly well. It was on time very time, and I got a seat even at rush hour. I don't love the rush in Penn Station all that much, but that was about the only bad part. 

 

Not for nothin, but I can tolerate the NJT side of Penn station during the rush... it's the LIRR side of Penn station personally that I despise, even during the midday...

 

Anyway, Good to hear that your ride(s) went alright... Did you get to go on any of the expresses; the trains that skipped any stops?

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Not for nothin, but I can tolerate the NJT side of Penn station during the rush... it's the LIRR side of Penn station personally that I despise, even during the midday...

 

Anyway, Good to hear that your ride(s) went alright... Did you get to go on any of the expresses; the trains that skipped any stops?

 

That is a very good point, I walked out through the LIRR side and good lord that was packed! I had meant that the fact that you don't know the track until right before departure was a little bit of a pain, but the NJT crowds were definitely manageable, even at rush hour.

 

One train went direct to New Brunswick and ended there, which was nice. One skipped the 2 stops right before New Brunswick. The others seemed to be locals, but all the rides took just about an hour, which is fine by me. I think the locals were during the off-hours, so the smaller crowds let the train crew close down the doors quickly.

 

Thanks again everyone for the advice, was really helpful! 

Edited by QM1to6Ave
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