Future of the Princeton Dinky

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jis

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Willbridge

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They're still trying to get rid of it and put in junky buses. Again with this. What is wrong with these people?
Prof. Nigel Wilson at MIT used to make the point that transportation companies / authorities become obsessed with killing some minor operation and waste time and public relations fruitlessly. Higher costs are often hidden in major operations. It rang true when he said that as I recalled incidents that fit those descriptions.
 

railiner

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At one time, I thought that NJT should run one or two rush hour trains from Princeton all the way to/from New York. I don't know if the PRR ever did that.

I don't know that much about it, but I think a better use of the Branch would be to convert it to light rail, and extend it all around the Princeton campus, perhaps...
 

Seaboard92

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I need to get up and hit this before they do this. It's long been on my list of trains to ride. The reason they aren't extending the light rail all the way to downtown probably is cost, and traffic disruptions. And it wouldn't surprise me if there was a sizable NIMBY population on it's projected route. Whereas buses won't have near the same problem.
 

Septa9739

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Light rail is going to be a mess to maintain, isn’t it? They have to either build a new facility, or get an FRA-compliant train to haul the trains someplace, right? To me it would make far more sense to keep using EMU’S.
 

jis

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Light rail is going to be a mess to maintain, isn’t it? They have to either build a new facility, or get an FRA-compliant train to haul the trains someplace, right? To me it would make far more sense to keep using EMU’S.
My guess, having dealt with the geniuses from Princeton, is that they are saying Light Rail to placate the rail advocates. At the end of the day they will convert the line to a busway with BRT service and ditch the whole light rail idea using cost as an excuse to do so. For reasons unknown to me Princeton University has been working diligently to get rid of that branch line for decades now.
 

jis

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That tracks for NJT, hands down the least competent transit authority in the country.
The journey downhill at NJT began after Jeff Warsh and Shirley DiLibero. The great George Warrington, whom NJT memorialized by naming the Plaza adjacent to Hoboken Station after him, played a huge role in ordering inappropriate equipment and in one fell swoop slowed down all suburban service schedule by 10 to 20 minutes. They tried to expand their fiefdom by trying to build a dead end terminal under the Macy's basement two blocks away from Penn Station, which was thankfully blocked even though possibly for the wrong reason. And then they drowned half their fleet in a Storm Surge during Hurricane Sandy while almost failing to meet the PTC deadline And the beat just goes on - or so it has seemed to those of us who have been at NJ-ARP for decades.

All through this the Princeton Branch has been endangered, already made less useful by cutting it back several hundred yards to a point further away from downtown.
 
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railiner

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Just curious...did they ever run any trains thru to Princeton off the NEC during peak hours in the past?
 

jis

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Just curious...did they ever run any trains thru to Princeton off the NEC during peak hours in the past?
Definitely not after NECIP caused the Nassau universal crossover to be removed and Nassau interlocking discontinued. There is no way to get from/to the NEC from the branch without a reverse move and absolutely no way to get to the normally eastbound tracks at all other than by running down to either Ham or Midway on track 4.

Such service did run land back under Pennsy I am told.
 

Touchdowntom9

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Brainless losers. Just build the light rail into downtown Princeton already, NJT.
Princeton would shut this down before that idea leaves a single persons mouth. The university paid top dollar to shorten the route to build additional buildings there. The U wants little to do with the dinkie, it’s mostly used during reunions and by commuters, only a tiny bit of the ridership is from students. I ride it 2-3x a week.
 

Touchdowntom9

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Walkable Princeton Article on the Dinky replacement.

I like the idea of the added stations.

What bothers me is the limited light rail service and the more frequent bus service that operates further into downtown.,
I know it would be more expensive, but why not light rail all the way into downtown?
Big hill to climb from the station to Nassau street, there’s no parking to begin with and no place to add a light rail without killing traffic or displacing a Princeton U building (which wouldn’t happen in a million years). New station is a horrible idea because it would cut down frequency dramatically. Dinkie usually operates more trips each day than the schedule dictates (they just have to make the scheduled trips, they will often make an extra one if a train shows up early or late)
 

jis

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The June 1916 Guide shows at least two through trains, one round trip to Philadelphia and one round trip to Trenton. It is a bit hard to follow as it is squeezed into the NYP<>PHL schedules.
Both of those would have required reversal at Nassau interlocking just East of Princeton Jct.
 
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Princeton would shut this down before that idea leaves a single persons mouth. The university paid top dollar to shorten the route to build additional buildings there. The U wants little to do with the dinkie, it’s mostly used during reunions and by commuters, only a tiny bit of the ridership is from students. I ride it 2-3x a week.
On a day trip to Princeton, I passed by the old station (now a restaurant) and paced the distance from the old station to the new station -- about 1,000 feet (300 meters), or a 5-minute walk. The old station was nowhere near Nassau St., sp even in the old days, a considerable walk through the campus was required to get to the business district. That could be why the University has never been keen on the service. At least with the new station, there's a path to allow people to walk to downtown via a public street that avoids the campus, plus there's room for numerous bus connections.
 
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