NJ Transit’s one-seat ride service to Manhattan for Raritan Valley Line riders, instituted March 3 for weekeday midday trains, will be expanded in the fall to include evening trains as well, said NJ Transit Executive Director Ronnie Hakim at a legislative budget hearing on April 28. Hakim’s statement, in response to a question by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-20th District), was reported by Mike Deak for the Gannett papers. The enhanced service has long been sought by Raritan Valley riders and advocates such as the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. What the riders would really like is peak-hour service, but this seems impossible for the moment as there are no more available “slots” for trains to enter or leave Manhattan during peak hours, and NJT seems disinclined to reassign slots to the Raritan line from other lines. The one-seat ride was made possible after NJT acquired new, dual-mode locomotives that can operate as diesels on the non-electrified Raritan Line, and switch to electric operation into Manhattan, where diesels are prohibited. Dual-mode locomotives for service into Manhattan have long been used by Amtrak, Metro-North, and Long Island Rail Road, but these are the first such units that have been acquired by NJT.

 

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