Monday, January 24th, 6:45–9:00 p.m.
Millburn Town Hall, 375 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, N.J.
Presentation by Scott Spencer, Ameristar Rail. Details here: https://bit.ly/3Jq36sd
The Lackawanna Coalition is an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for better service on the Morris & Essex (M&E) and Montclair-Boonton rail lines operated by New Jersey Transit, as well as on connecting transportation. The Coalition was founded in 1979 by commuters in Millburn who were deeply concerned about the quality of their rail service. The service has improved since then under the stewardship of New Jersey Transit, although there are always issues that affect our riders and require our attention. The Lackawanna Coalition is one of the nation’s oldest rail advocacy organizations and has met in Millburn continuously since it was founded over 40 years ago.
Our meetings are normally on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 PM in the second floor conference room at Millburn Town Hall. Our meetings are open to the general public, and we make an effort to be as welcoming and open as possible. When possible we schedule guest presenters from both NJ Transit and other parts of rail advocacy to bring their perspectives. If you choose to become a member, annual dues are $15. Click here to view our list of upcoming meetings, including any special meetings we have planned.
The reason we make statements is twofold: first, it does sometimes get action from the board, especially if one is persistent; second, members of the press are frequently in attendance, which is one of the ways we get our message out to the public. Unfortunately these meetings are scheduled for the convenience of the board, not the public: they normally begin at 9 AM on a weekday. The public comment period is at the beginning of the meeting (a concession we advocated for), however, which makes this less burdensome than it could be. If you think you may be interested in making a statement, either on behalf of the Coalition or just because you have an issue to bring to their attention, mention it at a Coalition meeting and we’ll give you the full run-down of how it works and what to do.
The Railgram is our bi-monthly newsletter, which offers in-depth coverage of advocacy issues. It can be a powerful recruitment and promotional tool, but only if it is distributed widely. Members of the organization typically put piles of Railgrams in station waiting rooms – NJT’s anti-leafleting policies prohibit us from handing them out directly on their property. We’re always looking for innovative ways to reach new audiences, so if you have any ideas don’t hesitate to bring them up.
Our Facebook page is located here. Use the “Like” button to follow the page, and you will receive updates whenever new content is posted to our website. Please share our page with other friends who may be interested. In addition, we are looking for volunteers to post additional content to the page as well as make posts on behalf of the organization to other pages where discussion of issues of concern to us is occurring (such as the NJ Transit Facebook page).
We’re always looking for new people, both to extend our reach and give us a broader-based perspective on transit issues. You probably know other people who commute regularly via NJ Transit. Even if they don’t have the time to become heavily involved, we want to hear from them and get them tuned into our media and the issues we’re concerned with. Encourage them to come to our monthly meetings when they can, even if they can’t do so regularly.
The railroad lines operated today by NJ Transit as the Morris & Essex and the Montclair-Boonton Lines have a fascinating history, dating from the earliest days of American railroading in the middle of the Nineteenth Century. This page gives a brief history of the construction, improvement, and operation of these lines, which today form vital transportation links for the north-central New Jersey region.