by Maddie Katz
Raritan Valley Line trains are now offering a “one-seat” ride during off-peak hours for commuters going to New York Penn Station. According to NJ Transit, travelers will no longer have to switch trains at Newark Penn Station weekdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The change began March 3 and, if successful, will run at additional times
Somerset County Freeholder and Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman Mr. Peter Palmer said a direct ride will “foster great economic growth along the whole corridor.”
The direct route was made possible because of NJ Transit’s switch to dual-powered locomotives; according toraritanvalleyrail.com, in order for the train to enter the tunnel from New Jersey to New York, the type of gas needs to be changed from internal diesel engines to an overhead power catenary on the same train.
Last year’s Superstorm Sandy damaged 21 out of 36 trains, which delayed the new system, according toraritanvalleyrail.com. However, recent plans show that all dual- powered locomotives will be running by July 2014.
Palmer said: “These are fateful decisions for the Raritan Valley. We need a groundswell of support.... In fact, we need a crusade.”
French Teacher Mr. David Davis, who visits the city almost weekly, believes that once one-seat trains are fully available, they will save a lot of time on the return trip to New Jersey.
Said senior Ally Diamond, “It’s nice to no longer have to wait to transfer trains. I also won’t have to worry about... waiting for an hour in [Newark] Penn Station at night.”
additional reporting by Claudia Romeo