Atlantic City Express Service
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Locale||New Jersey, New York City|
|Predecessor||Atlantic City Express (Amtrak)|
|First service||February 6, 2009|
|Last service||September 18, 2011|
|Current operator(s)||NJT Atlantic City Line|
|Start||New York Penn Station|
|End||Atlantic City Rail Terminal|
|Average journey time||2 hours, 40 minutes|
|Service frequency||Friday to Sunday only|
|Class(es)||Coach, first class|
|Catering facilities||Food and beverage kiosks|
|Entertainment facilities||Private lounge rental available|
|Baggage facilities||Luggage racks|
|Rolling stock||GE Genesis P40DC
Bombardier MultiLevel Coach
|Track owner(s)||Amtrak, NJ Transit|
The Atlantic City Express Service (ACES) was an inter-city train service offered by the Borgata, Caesars Atlantic City, and Harrah's Entertainment, operating from February 2009 until September 2011. It was operated by New Jersey Transit under contract, and funded by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The train provided summer seasonal service between New York City and Atlantic City three days a week, operating along the Northeast Corridor and Atlantic City Line. The train was formally discontinued on March 9, 2012.
With the success of NJT's commuter service to Atlantic City, talks about direct service to New York were discussed. In June 2006, the board of New Jersey Transit accepted a plan for an express service between Atlantic City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan, for a three-year trial initially slated to begin in 2007 (Newark Penn was not initially intended as a stop, but it would be added during the planning stages). Because of delays in acquiring the cars and preparing the needed motive power (the 8 cars for this service are part of a larger 329-car order, and the four diesel locomotives were acquired from Amtrak), the service did not begin until February 2009.
The fleet was composed of eight bilevel rail cars carrying both ACES and NJ Transit markings, with service funded by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and three casinos, Caesars, Harrah's, and the Borgata. Each train contained 300 seats with 4 cars per train. The multi-level cars' interior was customized for the ACES service, adding first class seating sections and lounge facilities. The cars were dedicated to ACES service and were never used for regular passenger service by NJ Transit.
In January 2011, service was suspended until May, citing low ridership and a $6 million loss in the first year of operations. Service resumed May 13, 2011 and ended September 18, 2011. The formal discontinuation of the route was announced on March 9, 2012.
The ACES passenger cars are now converted to regular NJT cars by Bombardier. This was done in 2013-2014.
Tickets for the ACES service were priced on a dynamic pricing scale, with tickets varying between $29 and $69 for one-way coach travel, first class service available for a $20 upgrade from the coach fare, and lounge rental available for a $200 to $300 upgrade from the coach fare.
Trains departed New York pushed by an ALP-44 electric locomotive and led by a dormant GE P40DC diesel locomotive until Frankford Junction in North Philadelphia. At this junction in North Philadelphia, the train reversed direction and was pushed by the P40DC along the Atlantic City Line. Northbound, the P40DC pulled the train to Frankford Junction, and then the ALP-44 pulled the train up the Northeast Corridor to New York. Sometimes, trains would switch between electric and diesel power at Newark, depending on operational conditions.
ACES trains made the following station stops:
- "NYC to Atlantic City express train will stop in Newark". New York Daily News. Associated Press. March 16, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
- Smothers, Ronald (June 20, 2006). "Atlantic City And Rail Line Agree to Offer Direct Service". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
- Murray, Lucas (January 5, 2011). "Hiatus planned for fast rail line to Atlantic City". The Courier Post.
- "ACES rail line between Atlantic City and New York shuts down for fall and winter". Press of Atlantic City. September 15, 2011. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- NBC 40. Associated Press. March 9, 2012 http://www.nbc40.net/news/21352/. Retrieved March 9, 2012. Missing or empty
- Salkin, Allen (December 16, 2008). "A Luxury Train, Bound for Atlantic City". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2011.