The New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP) and local Princeton residents have gone to court to stop New Jersey Transit from cutting off 460 feet of the Princeton Branch, known locally as the “Dinky” because it is less than 3 miles long. These cases are still pending, but NJT has relocated the Princeton station and started to remove the tracks and overhead wire, anyway. The nation’s shortest commuter rail line connects with the Northeast Corridor (NEC) main line at Princeton Junction and takes riders to Princeton. It originally went to downtown Princeton, but not anymore.
The NJT Board of Directors called a special meeting for the sole purpose of approving a land swap with Princeton University, which wanted the land for development that would include a parking deck. Despite opposition from some Princeton residents and NJ-ARP, the proposal was approved and the station was relocated on August 26. NJ-ARP Director Philip G. Craig complained that the new station is 1,200 feet of walking distance from the old one.
Continue Reading NJT Shortens Princeton ‘Dinky’ Despite Ongoing Legal Challenges
The Princeton Branch (otherwise known as the “Dinky”) will soon become Dinkier. New Jersey Transit will begin to remove the tracks and the overhead wire that powers the trains on the portion of the line closest to downtown Princeton. This marks a defeat for the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP), which had sought to prevent the removal of that section of the line. NJ-ARP had joined with others in filing a petition with the Surface Transportation Board and an appeal from NJT’s decision to consummate a land deal with Priceton University that would allow the removal of the affected portion of the line. A court hearing is set for October 13th, and the STB has not yet answered the petition. By the time these events occur, the planned removal of the portion of the line at issue will have been completed.
The Lackawanna Coalition has commended NJ-ARP for its strong advocacy on this issue, and is concerned that NJT has begun to remove infrastructure at issue before legal processes have been completed.