Princeton Junction (NJT station)
Princeton Junction Station
|Address||2 Wallace Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
|Connections||NJT Bus: 600, 612|
|Platforms||3 side platforms
(southbound NEC and Princeton Branch platforms connected at their north ends)
|Owned by||New Jersey Transit|
|Fare zone||19 (NJT)|
|Passengers (2012)||6,816 (average weekday) 1% (NJT)|
|Passengers (FY 2014)||44,007 3.7% (Amtrak)|
Princeton Junction is a New Jersey Transit (NJT) and Amtrak rail station on the Northeast Corridor located in Princeton Junction, a census-designated place within West Windsor Township in New Jersey, USA. On Amtrak and NJT tickets its abbreviation is PJC.
As of 2011, Princeton Junction was the 5th busiest station in the NJT rail system, with an average of 6,826 weekday boardings; ridership decreased slightly in 2012 to an average of 6,816 passengers per weekday. In addition to the Northeast Corridor Line, NJT operates a 2.8-mile (4.51-km) spur line, the Princeton Branch to Princeton Station located at the Princeton University campus in Princeton. The shuttle is colloquially known as the "Dinky", and has also been known as the "PJ&B" (for "Princeton Junction and Back"). Two train cars, or sometimes just one, are used. A single switch connects the branch to the Northeast Corridor tracks north of the station.
Amtrak provides two early-morning trains to Washington, D.C., and two evening returns, as well as one morning train to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and 1 evening return, all of which call at Philadelphia. Many more Amtrak trains stop at the much closer Trenton Transit Center. Until 2007 all Pennsylvanian trains stopped at this station.
Permit parking is operated by the West Windsor Parking Authority. All spaces on the New York-bound side as well as most of the spaces on the Philadelphia-bound side are in permit lots. West Windsor Township residents have about a five-year wait to buy quarterly permits; nonresident quarterly permits cost more and have a waiting period twice as long.
Daily parking is available in a nearby lot just north of the Princeton Branch platform and another lot in the rear of the paved lot on the south side of Vaughn Drive. The nearby lot usually fills by 7:15 am on Mondays through Thursdays; the Vaughn Drive lot does not usually fill up. Privately operated parking is available along Station Drive near Washington Road.
Central Jersey Route One Corridor BRT
Princeton Junction has been designated the core of the West Windsor transit village, a smart growth initiative to promote transit-oriented development which can include government incentives to encourage compact, higher density, mixed-use development within walking distance of the station. Development adjacent to the station permits higher densities and with include retail end entertainment elements.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2010)|
Albert Einstein, who lived at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, used to enjoy sitting at the station and watching the trains go by. More than once he employed trains to explain the practical effects of his General Theory of Relativity.
In 1965, a prototype for the high-speed Metroliner passed through the station at the record speed (at that time) of 164 miles per hour (264 km/h) on a short demonstration run. Very few sections of the Northeast Corridor were capable of handling that speed, and most had to be upgraded before Penn Central's Metroliner service was introduced in 1969.
The present station house was built in 1987. Most of Amtrak's Princeton Junction service prior to 2005 was "Clocker" service commuter traffic to New York, Newark, or Philadelphia. Since October 28, 2005, the Clockers have been replaced by NJT trains that run only as far south as Trenton.
High-speed rail corridor
In August 2011, the United States Department of Transportation obligated $450 million to a six-year project to support capacity increases on one of the busiest segments on the NEC, a 24 miles (39 km) section between New Brunswick and Trenton, passing through Princeton Junction. The Next Generation High-Speed project is designed to upgrade electrical power, signal systems, and overhead catenary wires to improve reliability and increase speeds up to 160 mph (260 km/h), and after the purchase of new equipment, up to 186 mph (299 km/h). In September 2012, speed tests were conducted using Acela train sets, achieving a speed of 165.  Speeds are expected to raise to 180 after new train sets are purchased and brought in service. A speed of 170 mph (270+ km/h) was achieved on the exact portion of track on December 20, 1967 when the U.S.-built UAC TurboTrain set the rail land-speed record in North America. A plaque at the station commemorates the event.
- "Northeast Corridor Timetables". Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. December 27, 2012. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, State of New Jersey" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "New Jersey Transit Facts at a Glance Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011)" (pdf). NJT. February 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
- "Princeton University: Train Travel". Princeton University. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- Rosenbaum, Joel; Tom Gallo (1997). NJ Transit Rail Operations. Railpace Newsmagazine.
- Parking Permit Program, accessed February 3, 2007
- "US 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)". Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Fact Sheet 2008". Central New jersey Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit Project. New Jersey Transit. 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
- "Central NJ Route 1 BRT". NJ Transit Bus Service: The Next Generation. New Jersey Transit. April 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "West Windsor gains Transit Village designation Township becomes 24th Transit Village in New Jersey". NJDOT. January 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- Frassinelli, Mike (17 July 2010). "Proposal to replace Princeton's longtime 'Dinky' train with bus line saddens sentimental locals". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Princeton Junction Station (PJC); Great American Stations (Amtrak)
- Schned, Dan (August 24, 2011). "U.S. DOT Obligates $745 Million to Northeast Corridor Rail Projects". America 2050. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- Frassinelli, Mike (September 25, 2012). "Amtrak train looks to break U.S. speed record in Northeast Corridor test". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "Dedication of plaque commemorating high speed rail in America" on the National Capital Land Transportation Committee's website
Media related to Princeton Junction (NJT station) at Wikimedia Commons
- NJT rail station information page for Princeton Junction
- DepartureVision real time train information for Princeton Junction
- NJT Northeast Corridor Line schedule
- West Windsor Parking Authority
- Princeton Junction train station page on Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association site
- Princeton Junction Photos from November, 2000
- Princeton Junction Amtrak & New Jersey Transit Station (USA RailGuide – TrainWeb)
- Princeton Junction, NJ - Great American Stations
- Station from Google Maps Street View