New Jersey's urban railways include three light lines and two heavy rail lines. Light rail in New Jersey appears to have been a success, and while no new lines are likely in the cards while the state is dealing with massive budget shortfalls, the mid-term prospects appear very positive as plans and pipe dreams continue.
The Hudson Bergen light rail line currently spans 33.2 km throughout Hudson County. The single light railway serves 23 stations, one of which is in subway. The first section opened in April 2000, with full operations kicking in in 2004. Trains run mostly on exclusive right of way, with some street running in Jersey City and a subway station
Avenue in Union City.
A one mile extension in Bayonne is expected to open in late 2010 thanks to Federal stimulus funds. While plans exist to extend the line into Bergen County, the "Bergen" part of the line's name is currently a lie. However, an 11 mile extension to Tenafly will bring truth to the line's name if construction begins as scheduled in 2011. Other extensions discussed include a line to the Meadowlands, one through Jersey City along
a Hackensack line, and Staten Island.There has also been some discussion of hooking up the system to Newark's City Subway, and through the new Hudson River Tunnel. Both of these schemes have about as much chance of being built as the Staten Island extension.
The HBLRT Blog
HomePage for the Hudson-Bergen MTA
STVEngineers Hudson-Bergen page
HudsonBergen LRT map and JerseyCity HBLRT page
Newjersey.com articleabout the HBLRT
Camden - Trenton
diesel light rail
This 20 station, 55 km light rail line connects Trenton, New Jersey's Capital, with the city of Camden near Philadelphia. The line opened in 2004 and has been under fire for it's low ridership numbers. While the low ridership may have something to do with a smoking railcar and thieves, we at subways.net like to think in the positive, knowning that fires and robbers in the trains just makes the ride that much more fun. In fact, this fun factor may have caused ridership to increase to the point
of capacity. Perhaps as thieves and their families move out of the city, they've discovered the many uses for rail transit in their neighborhoods
and those of others.
Originally part of a plan by PATCO for several light rail lines in Southern New Jersey, the River LINE is run by a subsidiary of Bombardier's Southern New Jersey Rail Group for New Jersey Transit. Though the plan was to
complete the line through to Glassboro, this may not occur since PATCO is now in the active planning
stages to install it's own diesel light rail line. Due to begin construction in 2010 yet still in the planning stages, the line will connect Glassboro with the River Line's Exposition station. New Jersey Transit's only active plans for the line now is the adding of a station at Pennsauken so that riders of the Atlantic City Line, a commuter railway, will allow passengers to transfer between both lines with ease. The line is expected to open in 2019.
One word of advice when using the River LINE would be to stay away from the front of the speeding diesel rail cars.
Patco's proposed Camden-Glassboro Line
Atlantic City Rail
River LINE Wikipedia page
Official Home Page complete with annoying music
The Newark light rail subway sacrificed it's loyal PCC cars and began using the Hudson Bergen LRT cars as of August 27, 2001. The PCCs will, sadly, be retired. For the first time in many years, however, the subway is being extended - from Penn Station to Union Station, where the system will "link up" with a new Hoboken LRT subway.
NewJersey Transit's Newark Subway Page
Afew of my old photos of the Newark City Subway
TheNewark City Subway - feature from Trainweb
(see Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,PATCO)
A couple of great pagesfrom days gone by: great though defunct transit systems of New Jersey fromAl Mankoff