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Renewed Calls for MOM Rail Service [AUDIO]

Regional disputes over the travel route of a proposed passenger train service from Ocean to Middlesex counties have placed the line’s future on life support.

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NJ Transit Train
NJ Transit Train (Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media NJ)

However, Bill Braden, chairman of the Ocean County Transportation Advisory Board, said he wouldn’t write off the MOM line just yet.

Superstorm Sandy only emphasized the need for an alternate means of transportation for evacuations and stuff like that,” Braden said.

He also added that with Ocean County’s continued population growth, it won’t be long until commuters outgrow the latest infrastructure improvements to the Garden State Parkway.

Braden said he’d like to see plans for the MOM line reintroduced, taking it through the most cost-effective route and building it one section at a time.

“Don’t try to build the whole thing at once, which is what they did,” Braden said. “They ran the project way up, almost a billion dollars, and the federal government wasn’t even going to look at that.”

The Ocean County Transportation Advisory Board will be holding a meeting April 7, at the county administration building in Toms River. They also plan to address calls for the restoration of the dual-powered train service to Bay Head, giving commuters direct access to New York without having to change trains.

Braden admits prospects for these projects are dim, but political pressure at the county and state levels could place the possibility of commuter train service back in Ocean County’s future.

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