West Trenton Line (NJ Transit)

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This article is about the proposed New Jersey Transit line. For the SEPTA Regional Rail line, see West Trenton Line (SEPTA).
West Trenton Line
to Newark Penn Station
Raritan Valley Line
Belle Mead
I-95 Hopewell
West Trenton
to Philadelphia

The West Trenton Line is a planned New Jersey Transit (NJT) commuter rail line that would be operated mostly on the CSX Transportation Trenton Subdivision, connecting West Trenton Station in Ewing, New Jersey with Newark Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey. The route would connect with the Raritan Valley Line at Bridgewater and the West Trenton SEPTA Line at West Trenton. As of 2007, NJT's estimate of the cost of creating a passenger line to West Trenton was $219 million.[1] The project is still on the books, but no funding for the proposal has been secured to this date.[1][2]

Historically, this was a property of the Reading Company. This line carried the Reading's Crusader and Wall Street trains, which originally operated as through service from Reading Terminal in Philadelphia to Jersey City. The Baltimore and Ohio's Royal Blue to Washington, D.C. and other trains to Chicago or St. Louis traveled on this line as well. Conrail then operated the service under contract to SEPTA and NJT using Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDC) until 1981. NJT then continued operating the RDCs until November 1982, when service ended due to dwindling ridership. The three stops that this service used prior to being discontinued were Belle Meade, Hopewell and West Trenton using the Lehigh Line for part of the way.[3] New Jersey Transit still retained operating rights over the line.[4][5]

Presently, the route is owned by CSX Transportation; all station platforms have been removed except at West Trenton, which is currently used by the SEPTA West Trenton Line, a commuter service to Philadelphia which also operates on the Trenton Subdivision.

Additional track would be added to the existing right-of-way as part of the plan. A second track would be installed between the Sunnymeade Road grade crossing and Port Reading Junction, where the West Trenton Line diverges from the Lehigh Line, for a distance of 2.8 miles. A second track would also be installed between Pennington – Hopewell Road Bridge and the Belle Mead station for a distance of 10 miles. Track would also be restored on the Reading Connector, an abandoned railroad right-of-way that between Port Reading Junction and the Raritan Valley Line. According to a 2007 plan, there would be 14 daily trains, five peak trains in each direction, one morning outbound train to West Trenton, one evening inbound train to Newark, and one midday train in each direction. It would take 1 hour and 20 minutes to get from West Trenton to Newark. There would be an estimated 2,660 daily trips on the restored line. 13.1 acres of land would be acquired for a West Trenton railyard.[4]

Communities along the rail line, such as Hopewell Township have supported the planned restoration of the line.[6]

Proposed stations[edit]

The Belle Mead Station originally used by the Reading Railroad

Trains would continue along the Raritan Valley Line from Bridgewater to Newark Penn Station.


  1. ^ a b "West Trenton Line". NJ Transit. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Will commuter trains ever roll on the West Trenton Line? Ask @CommutingLarry finds out". NJ.com. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  3. ^ "Passenger Rail System State of New Jersey". rrpicturearchives.net. New Jersey Transit. 1980. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Proposed Restoration of Passenger Rail Service on the West Trenton Line Appendix K: Public Involvement" (PDF). njtransit.com. New Jersey Transit. November 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ Times, Special To The New York (1982-11-12). "THE REGION; Rail Service to End On a Trenton Line". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  6. ^ Writer, John Tredrea, Staff. "Hopewell Township supports rail line revival". CentralJersey.com. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 

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