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Residents and Motorists Advised to Take Safety Precautions

NEWARK, NJ, June 28, 2002 -- Residents who live near the Boonton Line in Little Falls and Montclair will see an unfamiliar sight the weekend of July 12 through July 14 -- trains traveling through the two communities during weekend hours. The weekend use of the train tracks is to prepare for the September 30 launch of the Montclair Connection.

Testing on the Boonton Line -- between Great Notch Yard in Little Falls and Walnut Street Station in Montclair -- will begin at 11:59 p.m. Friday, and continue until 10 p.m. Sunday. NJ TRANSIT will test the electrical systems that will support its new Montclair-Boonton MidTOWN DIRECT Rail service and run trains to simulate future rail service along that line. Trains are expected to operate on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

In May, Governor James E. McGreevey announced September 30 as the launch date for the Montclair Connection rail service to begin. The newest addition to the NJ TRANSIT system will be renamed the Montclair-Boonton MidTOWN DIRECT Rail, and will provide many commuters with a one-seat train ride into midtown-Manhattan.

"Local residents and visitors are being advised that train activity and overhead wire testing will take place outside normal operating hours, " said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "The safety of the community is our highest priority. Please be careful when driving near tracks and we’re advising pedestrians to stay off the tracks."

NJ TRANSIT police will be working with local law enforcement officials during the test period to monitor activity near and along the train tracks. There is typically no weekend train service on the Boonton Line and residents may be unaware of trains running on the tracks. Area residents, motorists and pedestrians should be cautious when approaching rail crossings, including:

  • Not crossing train tracks when rail gates are down.
  • Advising children not to play near train tracks.
  • Crossing tracks at designated crossings, never at undesignated crossings, and observe all warning signals.
  • Not assuming that only one train is approaching from one direction.
  • Avoiding catenary poles or wires.
  • Not using the tracks as a shortcut.

Residents should also be aware that NJ TRANSIT will move trains from Hoboken and Dover train yards via the Boonton and Morristown lines on Friday July 12 to prepare for the weekend testing. Trains will be staged and will operate in and out of Great Notch Yard during the test period.

When service to New York begins on September 30, NJ TRANSIT will utilize its new ALP-46 electric locomotives and Comet V coach cars, providing commuters with an additional 9,500 seats. Hourly MidTOWN DIRECT service between Montclair and New York is scheduled to be provided on weekdays, while peak period service between Hackettstown and Hoboken and midday shuttle service between Montclair and Hackettstown will be provided Monday through Friday.

For further information on the new Montclair-Boonton MidTOWN DIRECT call 1-800-626-RIDE.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.