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RARITAN VALLEY LINE IMPROVEMENTS APPROVED BY NJ TRANSIT BOARD

Easier transfers at Newark Penn Station and a 60% increase in service west of Raritan Station

March 2, 2006
NJT-06-008
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — Customers on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL) will soon enjoy more service and easier transfers at Newark Penn Station, thanks to two items approved today by the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors.

The Board approved construction of a quarter-mile-long passing track in Readington Township near White House Station along the RVL that will enable NJ TRANSIT to increase service by 60 percent at stations west of Raritan, including North Branch, White House, Lebanon, Annandale and High Bridge. Once the passing track is constructed, weekday service west of Raritan Station will increase by eight trains—four in each direction—including two new morning peak-period departures from High Bridge Station, two midday roundtrips and two new evening trains to High Bridge Station.

“Today’s action by our Board of Directors will enable us to deliver consistent, same-platform transfers for our Raritan Valley Line customers, while significantly increasing weekday service between Raritan and High Bridge,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington.

West of Raritan, the RVL is a single-track railroad, limiting trains to operating in one direction at a time. In the morning, most RVL trains operate east and most evening trains operate west due to the limitations of a single track. The White House passing track will allow trains to pass each other on a short stretch of double track to support bi-directional traffic on the line.

The Board awarded the $1.54 million civil construction contract to Holmdel-based EE Cruz & Company for right-of-way improvements. The EE Cruz work is expected to be complete by October 2006, when NJ TRANSIT crews will begin installing the track, signals and switches. The total project is expected to cost about $13 million.

Customers west of Raritan Station can expect to see additional service in mid-2007.

Also today, the Board approved the redesign of an interlocking near Newark Penn Station that will enable all RVL trains to use the same platforms as New York-bound trains, providing customers with consistent same-platform transfer opportunities. Currently, many Raritan Valley customers must navigate two sets of stairs and the concourse level to reach New York connecting service. (RVL customers currently enjoy same-platform transfers at Newark Penn Station on weekend, off-peak and selected peak-period arrivals.) RVL customers can expect regular, same-platform transfers by mid-2008.

The Board amended its contract with SYSTRA Consulting Inc. of Bloomfield to complete final design for Amtrak’s Hudson Interlocking, located on the Northeast Corridor east of Newark Penn Station, for $525,000.

The Hudson Interlocking project will realign track to increase operating speeds, replace slow-speed interlocking switches and upgrade the existing signal system.

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 800,000 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 55 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.