Princeton Junction station

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Princeton Junction
at West Windsor
Princeton---Princeton-Junction---Train-Station---Platform---(Gentry).jpg
Princeton Junction station in 2006
Location 2 Wallace Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
United States
Coordinates 40°19′00″N 74°37′24″W / 40.3167°N 74.6233°W / 40.3167; -74.6233Coordinates: 40°19′00″N 74°37′24″W / 40.3167°N 74.6233°W / 40.3167; -74.6233
Owned by NJ Transit
Line(s) Northeast Corridor
Princeton Branch
Platforms 3 side platforms
(Princeton Branch and southbound NEC platforms connected at their north ends)
Tracks 5
Connections NJT Bus NJT Bus: 600, 612
Bus transport MCAT shuttle: M6[1]
Construction
Parking 4,161 spaces[2]
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code PJC
Fare zone 19 (NJT)[3]
History
Opened 1864
Traffic
Passengers (FY 2015) 6,968 (average weekday boardings)[4] (NJT)
Passengers (FY 2016) 42,226 (annual boardings & alightings)[5]Increase 1.5% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Harrisburg
Keystone Service
toward New York
Northeast Regional
toward Savannah
Palmetto
toward New York
NJT logo.svg NJ Transit Rail
toward Trenton
Northeast Corridor Line
Terminus
Princeton BranchTerminus
  Former services  
Pennsylvania Railroad
toward Chicago
Main Line
toward Princeton
Princeton BranchTerminus
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak
toward Pittsburgh
Pennsylvanian
toward New York

Princeton Junction (signed as Princeton Junction at West Windsor) is a railroad station in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, located in West Windsor Township. It serves NJ Transit (NJT) and Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), and NJ Transit on the Princeton Branch.

History[edit]

Amtrak Metroliner passing through the station in 1978
Station signs include the name of the township, West Windsor

Princeton Junction's origins can be traced back to the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company, the predecessor of the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 19th century. The original station was built in 1864,[6] in preparation for Princeton Branch service to begin in 1865.

Albert Einstein, who lived at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, used to enjoy sitting at the station and watching the trains go by.[7] 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. A speed of 170.8 mph (274.9 km/h) was achieved on the same portion of track on December 20, 1967, when the U.S.-built UAC TurboTrain set the rail speed record in North America. A plaque at the station commemorates the event.[8][9]

The present station house was built in 1987.[10] Most of Amtrak's Princeton Junction service prior to 2005 was Clocker service commuter traffic to New York, Newark, or Philadelphia. On October 28, 2005, the Clockers were replaced by NJT trains that run only as far south as Trenton.[citation needed]

Transit village[edit]

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.[11] Development adjacent to the station permits higher densities and will include retail end entertainment elements.[12]

Service[edit]

Princeton Branch "Dinky" in 1971

As of 2015, Princeton Junction was the 6th-busiest station in the NJ Transit rail system, with an average of 6,968 weekday boardings.[4] In addition to the Northeast Corridor Line, NJT operates a 2.7-mile (4.3 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",[13] and has also been known as the "PJ&B" (for "Princeton Junction and Back").[14] 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 one evening return, all of which call at Philadelphia. Many more Amtrak trains stop at the nearby Trenton Transit Center. Until 2007, all Amtrak Pennsylvanian trains stopped at Princeton Junction. The southbound Amtrak Palmetto began stopping in Princeton Junction in October 2015.

The Central Jersey Route 1 Corridor BRT is a proposed bus rapid transit system which would use Princeton Junction as its hub.[15][16][17]

Station layout[edit]

The station has two high-level side platforms. Most of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor lines bypass the station via the inner tracks, except for select Keystone and Northeast Regional trains and the once-daily Palmetto. The next northbound station is Jersey Avenue, but all northbound trains originating in Trenton skip this station and service New Brunswick, with other trains originating at Jersey Avenue.

P
Platform level
Shuttle Princeton Branch toward Princeton (Terminus)
Princeton Branch termination track →
Side platform, doors will open on the left or right
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Track 4 Northeast Corridor Line toward Trenton (Hamilton)
Northeast Regional limited service toward Northern Virginia (Trenton)
Keystone limited service toward Harrisburg (Trenton)
Palmetto toward Savannah (Trenton)
Track 3 Amtrak Northeast Corridor services do not stop here
Track 2 Amtrak Northeast Corridor services do not stop here →
Track 1 Palmetto and Keystone limited service toward New York (New Brunswick)
Northeast Regional limited service toward Boston (New Brunswick)
Northeast Corridor Line toward New York (New Brunswick)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
G Street level Station building, parking, buses

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Middlesex County Area Transit (MCAT) M6 Shuttle" (PDF). Middlesex County. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Princeton Junction". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Northeast Corridor Timetables" (PDF). New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "NJ Transit Facts at a Glance" (PDF). New Jersey Transit. August 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY16, State of New Jersey" (PDF). Amtrak. Retrieved October 13, 2017. 
  6. ^ Messer, David W.; Roberts, Charles S. (2002). Triumph V: Philadelphia to New York 1830–2002 (PDF). p. 89. 
  7. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (July 17, 2010). "Proposal to replace Princeton's longtime 'Dinky' train with bus line saddens sentimental locals". The Star Ledger. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Dedication of plaque commemorating high speed rail in America". National Capital Land Transportation Committee. 
  9. ^ "High speed rail commemorative plaque in Princeton Junction station". www.ns3010 .rrpicturearchives.net. 
  10. ^ "Princeton Junction, NJ". Great American Stations. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ "West Windsor gains Transit Village designation Township becomes 24th Transit Village in New Jersey" (Press release). NJDOT. January 5, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ "An Unofficial Transit Village". The New York Times. October 9, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Princeton University: Train Travel". Princeton University. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ Rosenbaum, Joel; Gallo, Tom (1997). NJ Transit Rail Operations. Railpace Newsmagazine. 
  15. ^ "US 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)". Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Fact Sheet 2008". Central New jersey Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit Project. New Jersey Transit. 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Central NJ Route 1 BRT" (PDF). NJ Transit Bus Service: The Next Generation. New Jersey Transit. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]