Raritan Valley Line

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  Raritan Valley Line
RaritanValleyLine.svg
New Jersey Transit GE P40DC 4800.jpg
Train #5439, a p.m. peak train on the Raritan Valley Line, about to stop at the Dunellen station, located in Dunellen, New Jersey (2008).
Overview
Type Commuter rail line
System New Jersey Transit
Status Operational
Locale Northern New Jersey
Termini Newark Penn Station
Hoboken Terminal (one inbound weekdays)
New York Penn Station (Non Rush Hour Time (Weekdays Only))
Raritan (full time)
High Bridge (limited weekday service)
Stations 20
Daily ridership 21,650 (average weekday)[1]
Operation
Owner Amtrak
(east of Hunter)
CSAO
(Hunter to Aldene)
New Jersey Transit
(Aldene westward)
Operator(s) New Jersey Transit
Rolling stock F40PH-2CAT locomotives
GP40FH-2 locomotives
Alstom PL42AC
GE P40DC locomotives
Bombardier ALP-45DP locomotives
Comet Coaches
Bombardier MultiLevels
Technical
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Operating speed 80 mph (128.75 km/h) (top speed)
Route map
Amtrak Northeast Corridor/LIRR
Sunnyside Yard
East River Tunnels
East River
Penn Station New YorkAmtrak MTA NYC logo.svg New Jersey Transit
Hudson R., N.Y./N.J. border
North River Tunnels
Secaucus Junction New Jersey Transit
Hackensack River
Waterfront Connection
Kearny Connection
New Jersey Turnpike
Passaic River
Newark Penn StationAmtrak Port Authority Trans-Hudson New Jersey Transit
Newark South Street
diverging from NEC at Hunter
merging into Conrail Lehigh Line
Northeast Corridor
NJ 27
Interstate 78
US 22
Union
Roselle Park
NJ 28
diverging from Conrail Lehigh Line at Aldene
merging into CNJ Main Line
Garden State Parkway
Cranford
Garwood
Westfield
NJ 28
Fanwood
Netherwood
Plainfield
NJ 28
Grant Avenue
Clinton Avenue
Dunellen
Middlesex
Bound Brook
to Conrail Lehigh Line
Interstate 287
Bridgewater
West Trenton Line to West Trenton
Chimney Rock Spur
Finderne
Somerville
Former CNJ Central Branch to Flemington
US 206
Raritan
Raritan Yard
US 202
North Branch Raritan River
North Branch
White House
Former Rockaway Valley Railroad to Watnong
Lebanon
US 22
Interstate 78
Annandale
South Branch Raritan River
High Bridge
Former CNJ High Bridge Branch to Wharton
Glen Gardner
NJ 31
Former DL&W Hampton Branch to Washington
Hampton
Ludlow
Interstate 78/US 22
Bloomsbury
Musconetcong River
NS Lehigh Line
Interstate 78 (line severed)
Morris Canal
merging into NS Lehigh Line
Former LV Main Line
Phillipsburg
NS Washington Secondary to Morris & Essex Lines
former CNJ Bel-Del Connector
BDRV Main Line
Morris Canal
Delaware R., N.J./Penn. border
NS Lehigh Line to Easton

The Raritan Valley Line is a commuter rail service operated by New Jersey Transit (NJT) which serves passengers in municipalties in Union, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.

The station's most frequent western terminus is Raritan station in Raritan. Some weekday trains continue further west and terminate at the High Bridge station, located in High Bridge.

Until March 2014, the RVL's eastern terminus was Pennsylvania Station in Newark, with morning rush hour service to Hoboken Terminal. In order to continue to Pennsylvania Station in New York City, RVL passengers were required to transfer to a Northeast Corridor Line or North Jersey Coast Line train at Newark Penn. PATH service was available to lower Manhattan and the Financial District via the NWK-WTC line at Penn Station. Beginning in 2014, some Raritan Valley Line trains began serving New York Penn Station via Secaucus Junction, which enabled riders on the Main Line, Bergen County Line, and Pascack Valley Line to access the line.

The Raritan Valley Line is colored orange on New Jersey Transit's system map. Its symbol is the Statue of Liberty, a homage to the Central Railroad of New Jersey whose logo was also the Statue of Liberty.[2]

Description[edit]

Most of the line follows the main line of the former Central Railroad of New Jersey. Historically, CNJ trains ran on this line, as part of its Lehigh-Susquehanna Division, from Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton in eastern Pennsylvania, through Elizabeth and Bayonne to Jersey City.

Until 1967 CNJ service terminated at the company's Communipaw Terminal in what is today Liberty State Park. This station, which was also served by Reading Company trains to Philadelphia and B & O service to Washington, D.C. and beyond, had connections by chartered bus or ferry into Manhattan (the ferries serving the financial district).

At the end of April 1967 the Aldene Connection opened, connecting the CNJ main line to the Lehigh Valley Railroad (now Conrail's Lehigh Line), and trains were re-routed to Newark Penn Station on the Northeast Corridor via Hunter Connection. This allowed CNJ to end the ferry service between Jersey City and Manhattan, which was losing money.[3]

Trains could not go beyond Newark Penn Station to New York Penn Station because the locomotives are diesel-powered, and diesel locomotives cannot operate in the North River Tunnels. The introduction of ALP-45DP dual-mode locomotives allows for direct service to New York Penn Station.[4] Limited, service to New York Penn Station started as a pilot program on March 3, 2014. Select trains scheduled to arrive at New York Penn Station provide one-seat rides to New York. This original "pilot project" schedule has been subsequently expanded to include additional trains.

Unlike the Northeast Corridor, the majority of station stops on the Raritan Valley Line are not wheelchair accessible. Newark Penn Station, Union, Cranford, Westfield, Plainfield, and Somerville are accessible, high-platform stations. Roselle Park has a high platform but does not have a ramp or elevator to the street.[5]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Whitehouse Station

The Raritan Valley Line uses all diesel service, with locomotives consisting of the F40PH-2CAT, GP40PH-2(A and B) GP40FH-2, Alstom PL42AC, and GE P40DC locomotives. It originally used a 5- or 6-car set of Comet series coaches and, since late 2008, Bombardier Multilevel Series Coaches were added and replaced the Comet coaches. Most trains now consist of an PL42AC or ALP-45DP and a six-car set of Multilevels. Prior to the service and the discontinuation of ACES, the P40DC locomotives are now used on the Raritan Valley Line.

With the initiation of select, direct, service to New York Penn Station on the Raritan Valley Line in March 2014, dual-mode Bombardier ALP-45DP locomotives (combination diesel and electric power) were added to the RVL rolling stock to incorporate the "one seat ride" to and from Raritan or High Bridge and Penn Station in New York. The dual powered locomotives will remain on the RVL indefinitely.

The line's rolling stock is stored at the Raritan Yard, the line's only rail yard, located just west of the station. All eastbound trains change crews here and trains are normally stored here overnight. This is also one of two fueling facilities for NJT locomotives (the other is at Hoboken Terminal). All trains terminating in Newark head to the Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny, New Jersey, to be stored.

Proposed extensions[edit]

Phillipsburg[edit]

Service beyond High Bridge to Phillipsburg was discontinued in December 1983 ostensibly due to low ridership coupled with infrequent service west of High Bridge. Then, in November 1989, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT) severed the rail line between Alpha and Phillipsburg during construction of I-78. This was done in order to avoid having to build an overpass over the out-of-service trackage.[6] Trackage was later dismantled between Phillipsburg and Bloomsbury, where the line connects with Norfolk Southern's parallel Lehigh Line. New Jersey Transit could build the stations along the existing Norfolk Southern Lehigh Valley Line towards Allentown or Reading.

Since 1984, there have been repeated calls for resumption of service to Phillipsburg to relieve traffic congestion on the parallel I-78 and U.S. Route 22. The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, formed in 1998 by former U.S. Congressman Bob Franks, is currently looking for cost-effective ways to improve mobility, reduce highway congestion, and increase transit ridership along the Raritan Valley Line. Their study is slated for completion in January 2010.[7] In addition, real estate developers have touted former industrial hub Phillipsburg as an excellent candidate for restored commuter rail service, saying "P'burg. . .a good candidate for rail service..."[8]

NJ Transit has been responsive to the idea, and initiated an environmental impact statement. It was determined that service restoration will take approximately four years and cost $90 million.[citation needed]

In 2010 Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. promoted the restoration of rail service to Easton or Phillipsburg and possibly Allentown or Bethlehem.[9]

West Trenton[edit]

Another plan that has been proposed is to restore service on the former Reading Railroad's Jersey City branch track between Ewing and Bound Brook to be called the West Trenton Line, providing a direct link to the SEPTA service of the same name and establishing an additional link to Philadelphia. To date, no funding for the proposal has been secured.[10]

Stations[edit]

Zone
[11]
Station[11] Miles (km)
from NYP
Date
opened
Date
closed
Connections / notes[11]
Northeast Corridor and City Terminal Zone continue east
1 New York – Penn Station Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
0.0 (0.0) 1910 BSicon BAHN.svg Amtrak: Acela Express, Adirondack, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Babylon, Belmont Park, City Terminal Zone, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Northeast Corridor, and North Jersey Coast Lines
BSicon SUBWAY.svg NYC Subway: NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Seventh Avenue))
NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg NYCS-bull-trans-C.svg NYCS-bull-trans-E.svg (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Eighth Avenue))
Bus transport NYCT Bus: M4, M7, M20, M34 / M34A SBS, Q32
Bus transport Academy Bus: X23, X24
Bus transport Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach: New York Airport Service
Bus transport Greyhound Lines: BoltBus, NeOn
Bus transport Megabus: M21, M22, M23, M24, M27
Bus transport Eastern Shuttle
Bus transport Vamoose Bus
New York / Hudson county line
Secaucus Junction Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
3.5 (5.6) 2003 BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Pascack Valley, Lines
BSicon BAHN.svg Metro-North: Port Jervis Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 2, 78, 129, 329, 353
Hudson / Essex county line
Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, and Gladstone Lines diverge at Kearny Connection
North Jersey Coast Line service from Hoboken converges at Waterfront Connection
Newark – Penn Station Handicapped/disabled access 10.0 (16.1) 1935[12][13] BSicon BAHN.svg Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Lines
BSicon SUBWAY.svg PATH: Newark – World Trade Center
BSicon TRAM.svg Newark Light Rail: Grove Street – Newark Penn, Broad Street – Newark Penn
Bus transport NJT Bus: 1, 5, 11, 21, 25, 28, 29, 34, 39, 40, 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 108, 308, 319, 361, 375, 378, go25, go28
Bus transport ONE Bus: 31, 44
Bus transport Greyhound Lines
Newark South Street
Northeast Corridor (Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Lines) diverges at Hunter Connection
Essex / Union county line
5 Union Handicapped/disabled access 1832 Bus transport NJT Bus: 26, 52
7 Roselle Park 1832 Bus transport NJT Bus: 94, 113
Aldene Connection between former Jersey Central and current Lehigh Valley Main Lines
Cranford Handicapped/disabled access c. 1930 Bus transport NJT Bus: 59, 113
Bus transport Olympia Trails: Westfield Commuter Service
8 Garwood
(limited service)
Bus transport NJT Bus: 59, 113
Bus transport Olympia Trails: Westfield Commuter Service
Westfield Handicapped/disabled access 1892 Bus transport NJT Bus: 59, 113
Bus transport Olympia Trails: Westfield Commuter Service
9 Fanwood 1837 Bus transport NJT Bus: 113
Bus transport Olympia Trails: Westfield Commuter Service
10 Netherwood 1894 Bus transport NJT Bus: 113, 882
Bus transport Olympia Trails: Westfield Commuter Service
11 Plainfield Handicapped/disabled access 1902 Bus transport NJT Bus: 59, 65, 66, 113, 114, 819, 822, 896
Grant Avenue 1967
Clinton Avenue 1967
Union / Middlesex county line
12 Dunellen Bus transport NJT Bus: 59, 65, 66, 113, 114
Bus transport Suburban Trails: Dunellen Local
13 Middlesex
Middlesex / Somerset county line
14 Bound Brook 1847 Bus transport Somerset County Transportation: DASH
15 Bridgewater Originally Calco
West Trenton Line diverges
Finderne 2006 Closed due to low ridership
17 Somerville Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 65, 114
Raritan c. 1890
18 North Branch
(limited service)
Somerset / Hunterdon county line
19 White House
(limited service)
1892
20 Lebanon
(limited service)
Annandale
(limited service)
21 High Bridge
(limited service)
1913
The following stations have closed since the Aldene Plan was implemented in 1967
Glen Gardner 1967
Hampton 1967
Ludlow 1967
Bloomsbury 1967
Phillipsburg 1967
Lehigh Line continues west

References[edit]

  1. ^ NJ TRANSIT QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS November 2012 Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "world.nycsubway.org/Showing Image 36731". World.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  3. ^ "Conrail/NJ DOT end Bayonne shuttle". Thorpefamily.us. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  4. ^ Mike Frassinelli, "The Star-Ledger," "NJ Transit unveils first dual-mode locomotive in North America," May 11, 2011 http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/nj_transit_to_unveil_dual-mode.html
  5. ^ "njtransit.com" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  6. ^ "nycroads.com". nycroads.com. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  7. ^ Flood, Danielle; Mustac, Frank (July 1, 2009). "NJ Transit Analyzing Recommendations Made in I-78 Corridor Study". New Jersey On-Line.
  8. ^ Hausman, Daniel (February 13, 2007). "Perrucci Pitches P'burg as Place To Do Business, Says Region a Good Candidate for Rail Service" The Express-Times.
  9. ^ Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. says rail study 'has holes,' plans own task force Monday, June 07, 2010, By DOUGLAS B. BRILL, The Express-Times http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1275883506119710.xml&coll=3
  10. ^ [1]. New Jersey Transit. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c "North Jersey Coast Line Timetable" (PDF). New York, New York: New Jersey Transit. November 19, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Newark Dedicates New Station Today". The New York Times. March 23, 1935. p. 13. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  13. ^ "Newark Dedicates Its New Terminal". The New York Times. March 24, 1935. p. N1. Retrieved 2010-05-30.