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NJ-ARP Hotline #617

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  • George Musser
    HOTLINE: May 21, 2008 We re Back….. We apologize for not having had a Hotline since February. With NJ-ARP being an all-volunteer organization whose
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2008

      HOTLINE:  May 21, 2008

      We're Back…..

      We apologize for not having had a Hotline since February.  With NJ-ARP being an all-volunteer organization whose officers have full-time jobs, life sometimes gets in the way.  President Douglas John Bowen is in a new employment position as is Treasurer Len Resto.  In addition, our Webmaster, Bob Scheurle, stepped down from his web duties after doing a yeoman's job with the site.  Bob will be sorely missed by all.  Thank you for your patience during our downtime.  And thanks to many members who contacted us thinking we might be ill and sending well wishes our way.  We were very touched by that.

      Part of our problem has been technical difficulties with our old Hotline system, which depended in part on software dating to the mid-1990s. We have now transferred the Hotline to groups.yahoo.com/group/nj-arp-hotline. If you prefer to view the Hotline online rather than receive it by email, you can visit this site and change your preferences.

      NJT Schedule Change Effective May 11, 2008—NJT's First Online Chat

      On Wednesday, May 7th, at 12:30 P.M., NJ Transit hosted its first ever "live online chat" to give customers a chance to ask NJT officials about the May 11th schedule change.  Vice President of Railroad Operations, William Duggan, ably fielded questions from participants and the chat lasted an hour.  We encourage NJT to utilize this e-forum as yet another way to communicate with its riders.

      The first "online chat" addressed the new schedule change which went into effect on Sunday, May 11th. The significant schedule change is related to a long-term Amtrak project replacing prematurely worn concrete ties on the Northeast Corridor (NEC).  This project will continue into early 2009 and will require the closure of one of the four tracks between Jersey Avenue and Trenton.  As a result, NJT is estimating the loss of up to 25% of its capacity with the following major impacts:
      1. Track 4 (closest to the outbound station platforms) will be closed between Jersey Avenue and Trenton.
      2. Platform bridges will be required to board and disembark from outbound trains at Princeton Junction and Hamilton.  The platform bridges will serve the end doors of the trains as the middle doors will not open.  This will lengthen the boarding and disembarking process.
      3. Trip times will lengthen and any operational problems will get magnified since there is more difficulty working around a problem.
      4. Customers traveling the reverse peak (southbound in the morning and northbound in the evenings) will have fewer trains to choose from.
      5. Customers traveling between intermediate stations along the NEC will have fewer trains at certain times of the day.
      6. Connections to SEPTA, the RiverLINE and the Princeton Dinky will be affected.
      Lest you think the impact is limited to the NEC, NJT has "spread the pain" among all its rail lines.  As an example, on the Montclair-Boonton line, train #6216 will depart 11 minutes later and arrive New York Penn 14 minutes later.  This forces many riders who work in Manhattan to switch to earlier trains, unless they have very understanding employers who will allow them to just come in later.  The result will be Montclair-Boonton line riders will be subjected to "standing-room" only trains earlier in the morning.  The new schedule, unfortunately, does not detail the options available to Montclair-Boonton line riders such as boarding a Hoboken bound train and transferring at Newark Broad Street for New York bound trains.  The wait time can vary from 3 to 12 minutes. Please obtain the new schedule as soon as possible so you can determine how you will be impacted.
      During the chat, Mr. Duggan revealed that work will be done during the day.  A machine needed to accomplish the work requires assembly and disassembly in order to get to other portions of the track.  The assembly-disassembly process will take place during the overnight hours so that track work can be promptly started in the morning.  Since Amtrak is in charge of this project, NJ-ARP will inquire of Amtrak why two machines couldn't be used in order to hasten the project along.  Amtrak should award a bonus to the contractor if the project is completed ahead of schedule.  Work should proceed 24/7 in order to avoid major disruption to the riding public.

      NJ TRANSIT ALERT subscribers must re-set on or shortly after May 11th

      Because the May 11th schedule change will involve the re-numbering of trains, subscribers to the NJ Transit Alert service must visit www.njtransit.com on or shortly after May 11th to re-set their alert preferences.  If subscribers fail to re-enter their alert preferences, you will likely not receive your notice, especially if one of your trains is renumbered.  Don't forget, re-set on May 11th.
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