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Project also makes way for rail service to the Meadowlands

May 11, 2005

NEWARK, NJ – Bi-directional and off-peak passenger rail service on the Pascack Valley Line moved a step closer to becoming a reality today as the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved contracts authorizing the purchase of material to construct passing sidings along the single-track railroad.

Passing sidings are locations on a single-track railroad where trains operating in opposite directions can pass each other on a short stretch of double track.

Once constructed, the passing sidings will allow NJ TRANSIT to provide midday and reverse-peak trains on the Pascack Valley Line for the first time.

“Addressing the service limitations of the Pascack Valley Line is something that we have aspired to do for decades,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. “The installation of these passing sidings will finally enable us to provide more frequent service which, in turn, will help take cars off our congested roadways.”

“This project helps address the fact that, historically, Bergen County has been underserved by rail,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Providing bi-directional and off-peak service on the Pascack Valley Line will significantly enhance NJ TRANSIT’s value to Bergen County residents,”

The project will also accommodate rail service to the Meadowlands via a rail spur that will connect to the Pascack Valley Line. Rail service to the Meadowlands is expected to begin in late 2007.

The two contracts approved today include the following items:

· Purchase of new track material, including turnouts and crossovers, that will allow trains to pass each other on the single-track railroad.

· General construction improvements including excavation, backfilling, drainage work, soil remediation, retaining wall construction and conduit installation.

· A wetlands mitigation plan to replace 1.33 acres of impacted wetlands.

In December 2004, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved the construction of three passing sidings along the Pascack Valley Line to provide enhanced rail service. The sidings will be installed in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., Hackensack, N.J. and Nanuet, N.Y.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 779,200 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, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.