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NJ Transit targets 2008 as possible start for weekend rail service
Thursday, August 30, 2007
By ERICA ZARRA
of The Montclair Times
Weekend rail service on the Montclair-Boonton Line may start as early as autumn 2008, according to NJ Transit spokesperson Dan Stessel.
Stessel told The Times that additional train service will not be available until after the completion of two major projects: Upgrades to tunnels that run beneath the Hudson River, and ongoing platform and track construction at Newark’s Broad Street Station.
Once those projects are completed, then NJ Transit will have the track capacity to allow for weekend rail service through Montclair.
“Then we’ll work the community to determine what the level of interest is and to make sure that we are in a position to provide it,” Stessel said.
The municipality is working on ways to alleviate worries residents may have about added traffic and noise issues.
Don Zief, chair of the Public Transportation Committee, hopes to mitigate such probable complaints by applying to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a 24-hour quiet zone in Montclair.
Currently, train-whistles cannot blow in the municipality before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
“We have a 12-hour quiet zone now,” Zief said. “It runs out this June 2008, unless we do something further like file a notice with the Federal Railroad Administration explaining what improvements will be made to intersections and the timetable for making them.”
Of the methods available to acquire a 24-hour quiet zone, Zief said that the two most likely in Montclair would be quad gates or channelization.