New Locomotives Bring Direct Service to NYC on Raritan Valley Line

Train passengers in Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties who ride NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line into Manhattan welcomed a new locomotive into the station on March  3 and with it came a long-awaited, one-seat ride into the city. Before this passengers were forced to switch to another train on a different platform in Newark, which was a time-consuming nuisance for able-bodied riders and an arduous obstacle for disabled travelers.

NJ Transit purchased dual-powered locomotives that can run on either diesel fuel or electric and that has made all the difference. The trains will operate as diesels through Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties and as electric locomotives through the tunnel to Manhattan, making the one-seat ride possible. Ten trains are a part of the pilot program.

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, joined by a coalition of 30 mayors of towns along the line, seeks to ultimately achieve a full one-seat ride Manhattan service on the Raritan Valley Line, so that riders do not have to change trains in Newark. For now, the transfer-free rides will only be offered on weekdays during off-peak hours. Five trips will be offered to New York and five from the city during the late morning and early afternoon.

Check departure times from the High Bridge, Raritan and other stations going eastbound, and westbound from Penn Station.  Eventually, commuters hope to get one-seat rides on weekends and during rush hours.