County Yard

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County Yard is a rail yard in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, along the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Originally developed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, it is owned by Amtrak. The New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJT) Jersey Avenue Station, served by its Northeast Corridor Line, is just south of the yard. In 2014, NJT began a project to upgrade the yard and build a "train haven" and re-inspection station.[1][2] County Yard will be able to store 132 rail cars. The Delco Lead, south along NEC, would be expanded to five additional tracks able to park 312 rail cars and a service and inspection facility would be built to return equipment to service.[3][4][5][6]

History[edit]

County Yard is just north of Millstone Junction

County Yard was originally part of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) and is located where the Millstone Branch joined its mainline, now the NEC. It was named for Alexander T. County, a vice-president and treasurer who lived in New Brunswick. A new tower and interlocking at "COUNTY" were opened in 1900.[7][8] Passenger service ended in 1930.[9][10]

The Jersey Avenue Park & Ride station opened October 24, 1963, at the beginning, or eastern end, of the spur line.[11] The PRR was eventually succeeded by Amtrak in 1971, which shares the NEC with NJT's Northeast Corridor Line and other commuter lines.

"Train haven" and Delco Lead[edit]

During Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, nearly 400 NJT rail cars and locomotives were damaged when they were left in low-lying, flood-prone rail yards at Hoboken Yard and the Meadows Maintenance Complex in the Kearny Meadows.[12] This prompted NJT to consider expanding storage to accommodate nearly 300 locomotives and cars at two Central Jersey locations.[13]

In January 2014, NJT awarded a $7.64 million design and engineering consultant service contract to Jacobs Engineering Group to conceive a "train haven" at County Yard where equipment could be stored during serious storms. The work, called the Delco Lead Safe Haven Storage and Re-lnspection Facility Project, involves reconfiguring and expanding the yard into the adjacent Mile Run Yard, which is not in service. Plans call for the new facility to include an inspection facility, since when equipment is taken out of service for weather reasons it is required by federal law to be re-inspected before being brought back into use.[14][15][16] Further funding was provided in 2015, 2016, 2017.[17]

NEC high-speed rail improvements[edit]

The rail yard expansion is one of several projects planned for the "New Jersey Speedway" section of the NEC, which include a new station at North Brunswick and the Mid-Line Loop, a flyover for reversing train direction. Work will be done in coordination with Amtrak, which is developing a high-speed corridor between New Brunswick and Trenton.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "County Yard". NJT. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2015. The plan is to expand the passenger train storage yard from its current footprint to include an unused part of an adjacent rail freight yard. By expanding the footprint to 13 acres and constructing more and longer tracks, NJ TRANSIT will be able to accommodate 150 electrified rail passenger cars as a safe harbor from any storm. Combining this with the reconfiguration and improvement of the existing long freight track extending west (Delco Lead) and connecting to the Mid-Line Loop, storage of another 260 plus passenger rail cars may be possible 
  2. ^ "State to pick up half of $368 million cost to flood proof NJ Transit train storage". NJ.com. April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Tell NJ Transit your opinion about the New Brunswick train yard expansion". NJ.com. April 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Train station could be moved to build flood-proof rail yard". NJ.com. December 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ http://njtransitresilienceprogram.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/DelcoLead_EnvAssessment_-web.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/capital/tcp16/sec6/njtransit.pdf
  7. ^ "PRR CHRONOLOGY 1900" (PDF). www.prrths.com. March 2005. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ Brotzman, Mike. "COUNTY Pennsylvania Railroad". The Signal Box. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad Company Discontinuance/Last Runs of Passenger Service Railroad – Ferry – Steamboat – Trolley – Rapid Transit By Line Segment" (PDF). www.prrths.com. June 30, 2003. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ Brahms, William (1997). Images of America: Franklin Township. Arcadia. p. 98. ISBN 0-7524-0938-7. 
  11. ^ Park 'n Ride Rail Service; New Brunswick Newark New York City: A Final Report on the Mass Transportation Demonstration Project, October 27, 1963-April 24, 1965 (Report). Tri-State Transportation Commission. 1967. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Superstorm Sandy Recovery". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ HIggs, Larry (January 28, 2013). "NJ Transit eyes 2 new train yards Potential for flooding, lessons from Sandy key factors in decision". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ Rouse, Karen (January 9, 2014). "NJ Transit hires firm to design train haven". The Record. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (January 8, 2014). "Scarred by Sandy, NJ Transit to get permanent home to store trains". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Final Agenda NJT Regularly Scheduled Board of Directors' Meeting" (PDF) (Press release). New Jersey Transit. January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  17. ^ "FY􏰀2016􏰀TRANSPORTATION􏰀CAPITAL􏰀PROGRAM New􏰀Jersey􏰀Transit" (PDF). state.NJ.us. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  18. ^ Vantuono, William C (June 11, 2013). "Amtrak sprints toward a higher speed future". Railway Age. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 18, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 

Coordinates: 40°28′45″N 74°27′53″W / 40.479294°N 74.464852°W / 40.479294; -74.464852

External links[edit]