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GojiMet86

NJTransit approves HBLR Bergen County extension

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https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/nj-transit-oks-new-light-rail-route/

 

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NJ Transit OKs new light rail route

February 15, 2018

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor

NJ Transit has chosen a route for its expansion of its light rail network that will enable the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to finally live up to its name.

In a unanimous vote, the agency’s Board of Directors approved the proposed alignment of the HBLR for the first time into Bergen County. Since opening in 2000 operations have been limited to Hudson County.

Original cost estimates were $800-900 million. No details were provided on funding.

The vote approves selection of the “Locally Preferred Alternative” required to complete the federal environmental review process. It also authorizes the submission of the new route to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees for inclusion in their Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan.

The action also enables NJT to begin design and engineering activities when the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration is completed. The agency gave no timeline for that.

The selected route consists of a 10-mile two-track extension from its current terminus at Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City north to the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, generally along CSX Transportation’s Northern Branch running track. Plans include construction of seven stations in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and three in Englewood, along with parking for more than 2,700 vehicles.

Service is proposed to operate from 5-10 a.m. with six-minute headway during the peak period and 15-minute headway off-peak. NJT estimates average weekday daily ridership of 12,370 passengers by 2030.

 

 

Link to the map:

http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/documents/ES-1_Project_Corridor.pdf

 

Link to relevant documents:

http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/

 

ES-1_Project_Corridor.jpg

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I was a little disappointed when NJT had said it would go as far as Englewood and not Tenafly, as it was supposed to, due to NIMBY-ism. The Northern Branch doesn't have freight above Englewood anymore, and remaining freight service is light. The HBLR might as well go to Norwood (near the NY/NJ border).

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Nearly a billion dollars.

Just a $100-200 million cost overrun away from a nine-figure cost for a ten mile light rail line, with eight stations, on existing right of way.

Costs like this for much-needed transit infrastructure projects just aren't sustainable - and we wonder why communities are often wary of transit projects.

I agree this should be done, but not for any cost. This shouldn't be constructed until costs are brought down to a reasonable figure.

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3 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

I was a little disappointed when NJT had said it would go as far as Englewood and not Tenafly, as it was supposed to, due to NIMBY-ism. The Northern Branch doesn't have freight above Englewood anymore, and remaining freight service is light. The HBLR might as well go to Norwood (near the NY/NJ border).

 

If there was a connection to the line that runs through Bergenfield (at the northern end in Northvale), I'd say it might as well go up to Nyack or Haverstraw (and start charging zone fares). 

BTW, does anybody know if they plan to double-track the line as part of the project?

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11 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

If there was a connection to the line that runs through Bergenfield (at the northern end in Northvale), I'd say it might as well go up to Nyack or Haverstraw (and start charging zone fares). 

BTW, does anybody know if they plan to double-track the line as part of the project?

 

If NJTransit is ever interested in reviving the West Shore line as a commuter line, that could be an option as well for Haverstraw, or even as far up as Kingston, although it would have to contend with heavy-volume freight.  That's the line that is to the left of the Erie Northern Branch. A long time ago, a branch of the Erie RR Northern headed west and hooked up at Orangeburg with the West Shore, and then Nanuet on the Passack Valley line. The main Northern line continued and ended at Nyack. Today, the New York Northern main is three trails: Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail, Raymond G. Esposito Memorial Trail and Old Erie Path. Alternatively, trains could continue on the branch and run on the West Shore ROW  to Haverstraw, serving West Nyack and the Palisades along the way.

 

The plan is to double track it all of it, from Tonnelle to Englewood.

http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/sdeis/Technical Appendices_NB SDEIS.pdf (page 7)

 

 

 

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On 2/20/2018 at 7:32 PM, GojiMet86 said:

I was a little disappointed when NJT had said it would go as far as Englewood and not Tenafly, as it was supposed to, due to NIMBY-ism. The Northern Branch doesn't have freight above Englewood anymore, and remaining freight service is light. The HBLR might as well go to Norwood (near the NY/NJ border).

The reason for NJT cutting the light rail to Englewood was because Tenafly redisents were against the light rail coming there https://articles.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017/01/town_that_derailed_bergen_light_rail_plans_reflects_on_decision_to_fight.amp

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On 2/21/2018 at 12:00 AM, checkmatechamp13 said:

If there was a connection to the line that runs through Bergenfield (at the northern end in Northvale), I'd say it might as well go up to Nyack or Haverstraw (and start charging zone fares). 

BTW, does anybody know if they plan to double-track the line as part of the project?

Currently the abandoned tracks going to be used by NJT for the extension only go up to Northvale and yes there building double tracks

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