A River Line train at 36th Street.
|Type||Tram-train, light rail|
|Locale||Camden, Burlington, and Mercer counties, New Jersey|
|Termini|| Trenton Transit Center |
|Daily ridership||8,633 (avg. weekday)|
|Opened||March 14, 2004|
|Rolling stock||20 Stadler GTW diesel multiple units|
|Line length||34 mi (55 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The River Line (stylized as River LINE) is a diesel tram-train light rail system in southern New Jersey, United States, that connects the cities of Camden and Trenton, New Jersey's capital. It is operated for New Jersey Transit by the Southern New Jersey Rail Group (SNJRG), which originally included Bechtel Group and Bombardier. Now that the project is in its operational phase, Bombardier is the only member of SNJRG.The River Line is so named because the path between those two cities runs more or less parallel to the Delaware River.
A diesel multiple unit or DMU is a multiple-unit train powered by on-board diesel engines. A DMU requires no separate locomotive, as the engines are incorporated into one or more of the carriages. Diesel-powered single-unit railcars are also generally classed as DMUs. Diesel-powered units may be further classified by their transmission type: diesel–electric (DEMU), diesel–mechanical (DMMU) or diesel–hydraulic (DHMU).
A tram-train is a light-rail public transport system where trams run through from an urban tramway network to main-line railway lines which are shared with conventional trains. This combines the tram's flexibility and accessibility with a train's greater speed, and bridges the distance between main railway stations and a city centre.
Light rail, light rail transit(LRT), tram or fast tram is a form of tramway or urban rail transit, using rolling stock, that constitutes a form of tram. They operate at a higher capacity than most historical tramways, and often on an exclusive right-of-way.
The River Line stops at the PATCO Speedline's Broadway station (Walter Rand Transportation Center) and the NJ Transit Atlantic City Line's Pennsauken Transit Center, allowing passengers to transfer to and from these connections to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Walter Rand Transportation Center is a transportation hub located at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Broadway in Camden, New Jersey. It is served by the River Line, the Broadway station of the PATCO Speedline, New Jersey Transit buses and Greyhound intercity buses.
The Atlantic City Line (ACL) is a commuter rail line operated by NJ Transit (NJT) in the United States between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey, operating along the corridor of the White Horse Pike. It runs over trackage that was controlled by both the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) and the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. It shares trackage with SEPTA and Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) until it crosses the Delaware River on its own Delair Bridge into New Jersey. The Atlantic City Line also shares the right-of-way with the PATCO Speedline between Haddonfield and Lindenwold, New Jersey. There are 14 departures each day in each direction. Conrail also uses short sections of the line for freight movements, including the NEC-Delair Bridge section to its main freight yard in Camden, New Jersey. Unlike all other NJT railway lines, the Atlantic City line does not have traditional rush hour service. The Atlantic City line is colored dark blue on New Jersey Transit's system maps, and the line's symbol is a lighthouse.
Pennsauken Transit Center is a New Jersey Transit train station in Pennsauken Township, in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. It serves as an intermodal transfer station between the light rail River Line and the commuter rail Atlantic City Line, as well as serving the Delair neighborhood for Pennsuaken and the nearby industrial park. The station cost $39.747 million, of which $39.104 million was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. After two years of construction, the Pennsauken Transit Center opened on October 14, 2013.
The River Line is currently exceeding final ridership estimates of 5,500 passengers per day, with an average of 9,014 weekday, 5,922 Saturday, and 4,708 Sunday average passenger trips as of the end of fiscal year 2014. During this time, there were 2,869,707 unlinked passenger trips.
The River Line was constructed on what originally was the Camden-Bordentown section and the Bordentown-Trenton Branch of the Camden & Amboy Railroad (C&A). The lines ran under the C&A name between 1830 and 1871, when the line was absorbed into the Pennsylvania Railroad. Ownership proceeded under Penn Central (1968) and Conrail (1976) until June 1, 1999, but the original passenger service had been abandoned in 1963.
Bordentown is a city in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 3,924. The population declined by 45 (-1.1%) from the 3,969 counted in the 2000 U.S. Census, which had in turn declined by 372 (-8.6%) from the 4,341 counted in the 1990 Census.
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad that was established in 1846 and was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was so named because it was established in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Conrail was the primary Class I railroad in the Northeastern United States between 1976 and 1999. The trade name Conrail is a portmanteau based on the company's legal name, and while it no longer operates trains it continues to do business as an asset management and network services provider in three Shared Assets Areas that were excluded from the division of its operations during its acquisition by CSX Corporation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
The path to NJ Transit's River Line spanned at least three decades and over multiple planning agencies. The precursor for planning for NJ Transit's River Line was the Delaware River Port Authority's 1960 plan for rail rapid transit service to Moorestown/Mount Holly, Lindenwold, and Woodbury Heights/Glassboro, using three existing railroad corridors. This plan was considered unrealistically expensive. The DRPA elected to focus its resources on the most promising corridor, the Philadelphia-Lindenwold route. Construction on the PATCO Lindenwold High-Speed Line began in 1966 and was completed in 1969, re-using the 1936 Philadelphia-Camden Bridge Line subway and constructing a grade-separated line within the Atlantic City Rail Line right-of-way. The DRPA's original initial proposal did not include the alignment that became the River Line corridor, but planned to serve Burlington County via the Mount Holly alignment.
The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), officially the "Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey," is a bi-state agency instrumentality created by a Congressionally approved interstate compact between the governments of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The authority principally is charged to maintain and develop transportation links between the two states with four bridges, a ferry, and a mass transit rail line across the Delaware River. Though the DRPA has "port" in the name, the nearby Port of Philadelphia and Port of Camden are independent.
Moorestown is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States and an eastern suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 20,726, reflecting an increase of 1,709 (+9.0%) from the 19,017 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,901 (+18.0%) from the 16,116 counted in the 1990 Census.
Mount Holly is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. It is the county seat of Burlington County as well as an eastern suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 9,536, reflecting a decline of 1,192 (-11.1%) from the 10,728 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 89 (+0.8%) from the 10,639 counted in the 1990 Census. Mount Holly also gives its name to the National Weather Service's Weather Forecast Office for the Philadelphia metropolitan area, though the office is actually located in adjacent Westampton.
NJ Transit's planning for the Burlington-Gloucester Transit System began in the early 1990s.
The primary goals of the BGTS were:
A Major Investment Study (MIS) published in 1996 concluded that a Gloucester route was more suitable than a Burlington route based on travel demand and citizen support.This study included substantial public participation: fourteen open houses, three advisory committees, and other public outreach. The process found substantial neighborhood opposition to the Mount Holly alignment through Burlington County: county freeholders publicly opposed the possibility. Opposition was particularly strong in Moorestown Township, partly because of a potential street-running section. Meanwhile, Gloucester County leaders were largely ambivalent towards the project.
Dissatisfied with this analysis, Senator C. William Haines introduced legislation in the New Jersey State Senate requiring NJ Transit to study rail transit service along the Delaware River between Trenton, Camden, and Glassboro.Haines, a native of Moorestown, sought the benefits of rail for Burlington County without the disruption to his hometown.
Two special studies were commissioned to supplement the alternatives identified in the MIS. The second of these special studies examined the Bordentown Secondary, another Conrail corridor through Burlington County, the alignment of today’s River Line. The parallel NJ Transit local bus on U.S. Route 130 was heavily patronized, and the corridor was ripe for economic development. Since the original intent of the Mount Holly service was to provide transit to the people of Burlington County, the belief was that the new alignment would achieve a similar objective.[ citation needed ]
Although the MIS focused on providing connectivity from South Jersey counties to PATCO service via a transfer point in Camden, an equally important goal was to provide the economic impetus to spark the redevelopment of the Camden waterfront and serve the city itself.[ citation needed ]
In November 1996, NJ Transit's board of directors approved a light rail transit alignment from Glassboro to Trenton with diesel light rail transit cars based on the findings of the Special Study. The entire alignment constitutes the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit Study project. The Board also established the Initial Operating Corridor (IOC) to be the Trenton-Camden corridor. The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was completed in 1998, and the contract with SNJRG was finalized in 1999, permitting the system to open to the public on March 14, 2004.
Much of the political impetus that led to the funding and construction of the River Line was, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer , State Senator C. William Haines. He was in effect the father of the River Line. The entire line was 100 percent funded by the State of New Jersey from its Transportation Trust Fund. No federal capital was expended for this diesel light rail project. Former NJ Transit executive director George Warrington has described the River Line as "the poster child for how not to plan and make decisions about a transit investment."
The lack of a direct transfer between the River Line and NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line, which crosses directly over the River Line in Pennsauken,was highly criticized at the time of the River Line's opening. NJT subsequently reconsidered; in March 2009, NJT announced that an intermodal station linking the River Line and the Atlantic City Line would be constructed in Pennsauken. The new intermodal station would include one low-level platform for River Line trains, two high-level platforms for Atlantic City Line commuter trains, and 280 parking spaces. A ground breaking ceremony was held for the Pennsauken Transit Center on October 19, 2009. The second and final phase of construction was approved by the NJ Transit Board of Directors on July 13, 2011. NJ Transit opened the station to passenger service on October 14, 2013.
Except at each end of the line, the River Line was Conrail's Bordentown Secondary until June 1, 1999, when NJ Transit bought it for $67.5 million. NJ Transit has exclusive access to run light rail passenger service on the line from 05:30 to 22:10 Sunday through Friday, and all of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Conrail has exclusive access for freight at other times. Either agency may request to use the line at abnormal times in case of a special event or emergency.[ citation needed ]
Within a year of the River Line's launch, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) granted permission to adjust timesharing agreement (more technically, "temporal separation") terms. NJ Transit and Conrail agreed to divide the line into two segments, from Camden to Bordentown (south), and from Bordentown to Trenton (north). In the northern section, the passenger period starts at 5:45 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. Initially, these new periods allowed NJ Transit to deadhead equipment from Trenton to Bordentown and Florence at 5.45 a.m., to form the 6:08 a.m. and 6:23 a.m. northbound departures. These early morning trains provide earlier connections at Trenton for NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor services to Newark and New York City than were available previously.
NJ Transit has made some service improvements within the constraints of the timesharing agreement, with the construction of a mid-line yard in 2005 to permit later Burlington arrivals in the evening, and earlier departures after 6 a.m. However, most of the changes noted to facilitate late night service (after 10 p.m. on nights other than Saturdays) have been reversed, as listed.Since the River Line opened, NJ Transit has made the service enhancements listed below (some of them subsequently reversed):
There is no northbound late night service except on Saturdays due to budget cuts; the last northbound train leaves the Walter Rand Transportation Center at 9:38 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and goes only as far as the Pennsauken/Route 73 station. The only option to reach some stations north of the Walter Rand Transportation Center from Camden on these nights is the Route 419 bus which stops at each station as far north as Riverside while the Atlantic City Rail Line from Philadelphia and Lindenwold connects with the River Line at the Pennsauken Transit Center Station.
Currently, all service on the line must stop after 10 p.m. except on Saturdays and limited nights when there is a concert at the Entertainment Center at the southern end of the line or another special event. Two stations in Camden, which are double-tracked where the final southbound trains stop just after 10 p.m., are the only exception.This reduction in service occurred in 2010 to save money.
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Most of the length of the project, except for street-running portion at the Camden end, is shared between non-FRA compliant light rail DMUs and heavy mainline freight trains. The 34-mile shared-track segment contains a mixture of single and double track sections.
The River Line was initially designed for commingled operations (i.e., where freight trains and light rail trains may operate on the same line controlled only by the signal systems) to provide maximum flexibility both for the freight and transit operators. The line, rebuilt under a design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) contract, features mainline railroad signals with full centralized traffic control (CTC). River Line operating personnel use a modified version of the NORAC Rules, a standard set of railroad operating rules used by mainline railroads operating in the Northeastern U.S., including Amtrak and Conrail.
Signals set to stop for the diesel light rail cars are positively enforced via Intermittent Inductive Automatic Train Stop. The system is similar (but not identical) to the German Indusi system, where signal aspects are transmitted to moving trains from wayside devices. The inductive train stop devices are placed by the running rails[ clarification needed ] in advance of the absolute signals. Train's emergency brakes are automatically engaged if a stop signal overrun occurs and interlockings are designed with sufficient overlap for trains to come to a complete stop before conflicting with other traffic.
The River Line operates on a proof-of-payment system, as is typical of most light rail systems throughout the United States. Passengers can buy tickets at ticket vending machines (TVMs) present at all stations. [ citation needed ]. As of 2004, rider fares only covered 7% of costs (not including debt service).Unused Newark City Subway and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tickets can be used after validation at a River Line station
The River Line fleet comprises 20 articulated Swiss-built Stadler GTW 2/6 DMU (diesel multiple unit) cars. The River Line is the first light rail system in the United States to use these instead of more typical electric vehicles.
All stations and rolling stock were built after 1990 and are fully ADA-compliant.
|Trenton|| Trenton ||Northern terminus, located just west of rail station|
| Hamilton Avenue ||Serves CURE Insurance Arena|
|Cass Street||Serves Arm & Hammer Park|
|Bordentown|| Bordentown |
|Florence Township|| Roebling |
| Florence ||BurLink: B5||Park and ride|
|Burlington||Burlington Towne Centre|
| Burlington South ||Park and ride|
|Beverly|| Beverly/Edgewater Park |
|Delanco Township|| Delanco |
|Riverside|| Riverside |
|Cinnaminson Township|| Cinnaminson |
|Riverton|| Riverton |
|Palmyra|| Palmyra |
|Pennsauken Township|| Pennsauken–Route 73 ||Park and ride|
| Pennsauken |
| 36th Street |
|Camden||Walter Rand Transportation Center|
407 , 408 , 409 , 410 , 412 , 413 , 418 , 419 , 450 , 451 , 452 , 453 , 457 , 551
|Cooper Street–Rutgers University|
|Aquarium||Serves Adventure Aquarium|
|Entertainment Center||Southern terminus, serves BB&T Pavilion|
New Jersey Transit has proposed several possible extensions and stations to the River Line, either as parts of the initial construction plan which were deferred, or as potential future projects.
The Glassboro–Camden Line is a proposed 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system. At its northern end in Camden it will converge with the River Line, with which its infrastructure and vehicles will be compatible, and terminate at the Walter Rand Transportation Center. The plan is part of larger expansion of public transportation in South Jersey that will include bus rapid transit along the Route 42 and Route 55, improvements to the Atlantic City Rail Line, and enhanced connections to the Atlantic City International Airport.
The New Jersey State House is located approximately 0.8 miles to the northwest of the River Line's northern terminal at Trenton Transit Center. While the line was being constructed, NJT studied an extension that would bridge this gap via a shared right-of-way on city streets.Such an extension would provide direct service to the workplaces of state employees and other workers in downtown Trenton. While the project is supported by City of Trenton officials, NJT did not elect to expand the already over-budget construction effort, but instead operates a branded "Capitol Connection" bus service, requiring River Line riders to transfer at Trenton Transit Center.
A third proposed extension would take the River Line beyond the State House through Trenton, to West Trenton station in Ewing Township, New Jersey, connecting with SEPTA's West Trenton Line service to Center City Philadelphia via Bucks and Montgomery counties. NJ Transit listed this extension on its 2020 Transit wish list map,but has not taken further action.
Much of the River Line uses single track. In some places, there is no room for double-track service without narrowing or removing road lanes, such as Burlington (where streets flank the single track on either side), Palmyra and Bordentown. Improving headways from the current peak level of 15 minutes would require either building additional passing sidings or removing one lane of traffic on certain local roads.
New Jersey Transit Corporation, branded as NJ Transit, and often shortened to NJT, is a state-owned public transportation system that serves the US state of New Jersey, along with portions of New York State and Pennsylvania. It operates bus, light rail, and commuter rail services throughout the state, connecting to major commercial and employment centers both within the state and in the adjacent major cities of New York and Philadelphia.
NJ Transit Rail Operations is the rail division of NJ Transit. It operates commuter rail service in New Jersey, with most service centered on transportation to and from New York City, Hoboken, and Newark. NJ Transit also operates rail service in Orange and Rockland counties in New York under contract to Metro-North Railroad. The commuter rail lines had an average weekday ridership of 306,892 from June 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. This does not include NJ Transit's light rail operations.
Conrail Shared Assets Operations or CSAO is the commonly used name for modern-day Conrail. Conrail is an American railroad company. It operates three networks—the North Jersey, South Jersey/Philadelphia, and Detroit Shared Assets Areas, where it serves as a contract local carrier and switching company for its owners, CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway. When most of the former Conrail's track was split between these two railroads, the three shared assets areas were kept separate to avoid giving one railroad an advantage in those areas. The company operates using its own employees and infrastructure, but owns no equipment outside MOW equipment.
Trenton Transit Center is the main passenger train station in Trenton, New Jersey. It is the southernmost stop in New Jersey on the Northeast Corridor. It is the terminus for NJ Transit trains to and from New York City and SEPTA Trenton Line Regional Rail trains to and from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and an intermediate station for Amtrak trains traveling between the two cities along the Northeast Corridor.
The Delair Bridge is a railroad bridge with a vertical-lift section that crosses the Delaware River between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, just south of the Betsy Ross Bridge. The two-track bridge is part of Conrail Shared Assets Operations and is jointly used by Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation freight trains, as well as by the New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line service.
The Bordentown Secondary was originally a freight railroad line in New Jersey, running from Pavonia Yard in Camden to Trenton. Today, a large portion of the line from Bordentown to Camden is used for New Jersey Transit's River Line light rail service. Conrail Shared Assets Operations continues to operate freight trains on the line, but these operations are restricted to overnight hours.
Bordentown is a station on NJ Transit's River Line light rail system, located on West Park Street in Bordentown, in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States.
Roebling is a station on the River Line light rail system, located in Roebling, New Jersey. The station opened on March 15, 2004 together with the line. A previous station, operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad, was located at the site from around 1907 until the 1950s. The station consists of one side platform serving the single-track line; an adjacent parking lot originally intended to support nearby developments is used by local commuters.
Florence is a station on the River Line light rail system, located on John Galt Way off of U.S. Route 130 in Florence Township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, although it is addressed as being on Route 130.
Burlington Towne Centre is a station on the River Line light rail system, located on West Broad Street in Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, United States within the Burlington Historic District. The tracks run in the middle of the street in a thin trench, so while it does run in the middle of the street, it is not considered "street running." Like many other River Line stations, the Towne Centre station is made up of a raised, accessible platform with ticket machines and a small passenger shelter. Of note, the station name uses the spelling "centre" rather than the more usual "center".
Burlington South is a station on NJ Transit's River Line light rail system, located on West Broad Street in Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, near the New Jersey side of the Burlington–Bristol Bridge.
Riverton is a station on the River Line light rail system, located along South Broad Street between Thomas Avenue and Main Street in Riverton, New Jersey, though it is officially addressed as being on Main Street.
Pennsauken–Route 73 station is a station on NJ Transit's River Line light rail system, located on River Road in Pennsauken Township, in Camden County, New Jersey, United States.
36th Street is an NJ Transit station on the River Line light rail system, located off 36th Street and River Road in the Delaware Gardens neighborhood of Pennsauken Township, in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. It is situated north of Pavonia Yard at the city line with Camden, and as such is the southern-most station of three along the River Line within Pennsauken.
Light rail in New Jersey is provided by New Jersey Transit, a corporation which also provides bus and commuter rail services.
The Robbinsville Industrial Track is a short freight line that runs between Bordentown, New Jersey to the Yardville section of Hamilton Township, New Jersey. The line is part of Conrail Shared Assets Operations (CSAO) and was originally part of the Camden and Amboy Railroad and later served as part of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central Transportation and then Conrail.
The Glassboro–Camden Line is an 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system planned for the southwestern part of New Jersey in the United States. At its northern end in Camden it will connect with the River Line with which its infrastructure and vehicles will be compatible. At the northern terminus, the Walter Rand Transportation Center, paid transfers will be possible to the PATCO Speedline. The route will generally follow the right of way (ROW) of Conrail's South Jersey/Philadelphia Shared Assets Operations Vineland Secondary freight rail line which continues beyond the light rail terminus in Glassboro. The project is part of a greater plan to expand public transportation in the Delaware Valley metro area.
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