NJ Transit makes changes as Amtrak prepares for NYC track work
It’s not supposed to turn into the Summer of Hell Part 2, but NJ Transit is planning to make some schedule changes for select trains heading into New York Penn Station this summer.
NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said because Amtrak will be repairing and renewing two railroad track interlockings at the east end of Penn Station. He explained the Amtrak work will result in track outages, which will necessitate minor schedule reconfigurations.
Corbett said four Midtown Direct trains on the Montclair-Boonton Line and a North Jersey Coast Line train will be diverted to Hoboken starting June 17. The changes are scheduled to run through Sept. 6, when the Amtrak work is due to be completed.
Other temporary service adjustments will include Morris & Essex Line Midtown Direct trains.
“Some of the trains will not stop at Newark Broad Street because we don’t want to have overcrowding for people trying to get on a Midtown Direct train at Newark Broad Street," he said.
He said changes planned for the Newark Broad Street station will be for peak times during the morning and evening rush hours, and a limited number of Midtown Direct reverse-peak trains will operate from Hoboken.
Corbett said once the Amtrak work begins, some NJ Transit trains will stay in Penn Station briefly and then head back to the Garden State, but others will continue through to Sunnyside Yard to get serviced before starting return service.
He stressed the upcoming changes should not cause any horrible disruptions.
“We’re comfortable this is nowhere near the magnitude of what it was two years ago,” he said.
In the summer of 2017, Amtrak construction sparked dire predictions about a so-called Summer of Hell for NJ Transit, and 70 train schedules were adjusted, but only minor problems resulted.
He explained the changes will only affect select trains during the work week but to help travelers who get confused, “customer service will be having Ambassadors at the stations, particularly Hoboken and New York Penn Station.”
Corbett said NJ Transit is trying to get the word out about these changes in plenty of time to give commuters a chance to adjust their schedules.
“Hopefully, they’ll be sick of hearing about it by the time June 17 comes and they’ll be properly prepared and ready for it," he said.
NJ Transit will offer travelers on Montclair-Boonton Midtown Direct trains that are rerouted to Hoboken a discount so they don’t pay extra for PATH service into the city, plus a 10% inconvenience discount.
The agency is strongly recommending customers stay up to date on the work by visiting njtransit.com/inform.
The following NJ Transit service plan will be in place weekdays, starting June 17, and will run through Sept. 6, or whenever the Amtrak work is completed:
Montclair-Boonton Line (MOBO)
North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL)
Morris & Essex Line (M&E)
A.M. Peak Period PSNY Arrivals Diverted To Hoboken Arrivals:
- MOBO 6206, currently arrives at PSNY 7:40 a.m., will arrive at Hoboken 7:32 a.m. and be renumbered 206.
- MOBO 6210, currently arrives at PSNY 8:20 a.m., will arrive at Hoboken 8:09 a.m. and be renumbered 210.
- MOBO 6214, currently arrives at PSNY 8:59 a.m., will arrive at Hoboken 8:49 a.m. and be renumbered 214.
- MOBO 6216, currently arrives at PSNY at 9:50 a.m., will arrive at Hoboken 9:42 a.m. and be renumbered 218
- NJCL 3216, currently arrives at PSNY 7:30 a.m., will arrive at Hoboken at 7:28 a.m. and be renumbered 2602.
Customers may utilize 3212, the 5:44 a.m. out of Long Branch or the 3318, 5:40 a.m. departure from Bay Head. Customers may also remain on NJCL 3216 and de-board at Newark Penn Station to transfer to a Northeast Corridor (NEC) train into PSNY.
A.M. Peak Period PSNY Departures Diverted To Hoboken Departures
- M&E Midtown Direct 6613, currently departs PSNY 8:02 a.m., will depart Hoboken 8:02 a.m. Customers may also board M&E Midtown Direct 6315, which will operate at 8:24 a.m.from PSNY, extend from Summit to Dover and be renumbered 6615.
M&E Midtown Direct 6617, currently departs PSNY 8:42 a.m., will depart Hoboken 8:31 a.m. and be renumbered 317. The 317 will terminate at Summit. Customers traveling beyond Summit can use M&E Midtown Direct Train 6615, operating from PSNY at 8:24 a.m., Customers can also use MOBO Midtown Direct Train 6227, operating from PSNY at 9:10 a.m., then transfer at Newark Broad Street Station for Train 851 at 9:31 a.m.
- M&E Midtown Direct 6317, currently departs PSNY 9:22 a.m., will depart Hoboken 9:24 a.m. and be renumbered 319.
P.M. Peak Period PSNY Departures Diverted To Hoboken Departures:
- MOBO 6263, currently departs PSNY at 4:52 p.m., will depart Hoboken 4:54 p.m. and be renumbered 263.
- MOBO 6273, currently departs PSNY at 5:31 p.m., will depart Hoboken 5:36 p.m. and be renumbered 273.
- MOBO 6279, currently departs PSNY at 6:10 p.m., will depart Hoboken 6:22 p.m. and be renumbered 279.
- MOBO 6283, currently departs PSNY at 6:41 p.m., will depart Hoboken 6:47 p.m. and be renumbered 283.
- NJCL 3269, currently departs PSNY at 5:46 p.m., will depart Hoboken 5:43 p.m. and be renumbered 2611.
Alternative travel options for all customers except those traveling to Avenel and Perth Amboy include 3267, the 5:33 p.m. departure from PSNY or 3271, the 5:55 p.m. departure from PSNY. Avenel and Perth Amboy.
Customers should use 3513, the 5:25 p.m. departure from PSNY, or 3271, the 5:55 p.m. departure from PSNY. Customers may also travel on an NEC train to Newark Penn Station and board an NJCL train at Newark Penn Station.
P.M. Peak Period PSNY Arrivals Directed to Hoboken Arrivals
- M&E Midtown Direct 6656, currently arrives at PSNY 5:04 p.m., will arrive at Hoboken 4:57 p.m. and be renumbered 656.
Customers can utilize M&E Midtown Direct 6654 arriving at PSNY at 4:52 p.m. or M&E Midtown Direct 6658 arriving at PSNY at 5:31 p.m.
- MOBO 250, currently departs MSU at 4:33 p.m., will depart at 3:41 p.m. and is renumbered as train 246. Customers have two alternative options:
- MOBO Midtown Direct 6248, departing MSU at 4:13 p.m. and arriving at PSNY at 5:08 p.m. Hoboken customers can transfer from Train 6248 to Train 430 at Newark Broad Street. Train 430 departs Newark Broad Street at 4:57 PM and arrives in Hoboken at 5:13 PM.
- MOBO Midtown Direct 6252, departing MSU at 5:07 p.m. and arriving at PSNY at 5:57 p.m. Hoboken customers can transfer from Train 6248 to Train 430 at Newark Broad Street. Train 432 departs Newark Broad Street at 5:56 PM and arrives in Hoboken at 6:13 PM.
Also previously discontinued trains on the NEC, NJCL and Raritan Valley Lines (RVL) will remain temporarily discontinued through the Summer 2019.
NJ TRANSIT bus service will be enhanced along three routes which travel along the Montclair-Boonton line to/from Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) -- Bus Route Nos. 324, 191 and 192 -- to accommodate an anticipated increase in customer demand during the summer track work.
Important Note: DeCamp bus service is another travel option, however DeCamp is NOT cross honoring NJ TRANSIT passes/tickets. A DeCamp bus ticket must be purchased.
Newark Broad Street Station Advisory: To prevent the possibility of unsafe overcrowding conditions at Newark Broad Street station resulting from customers transferring to/from PSNY trains, M&E Midtown Direct trains traveling TO PSNY between 7:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and trains traveling FROM PSNY between 4:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. will NOT make station stops at Newark Broad Street. During this timeframe, Newark Broad Street customers must utilize trains to/from Hoboken, or use Newark Light Rail to access PSNY service from Newark Penn Station.
Morristown Line: Customers who utilize Newark Broad Street as a transfer point to Midtown Direct trains may transfer at East Orange Station. Customers traveling to New York from stations between Hackettstown and Mount Arlington will continue to transfer at Dover to Midtown Direct trains as they do today. Additionally, some M&E trains will have modifications to stop patterns. Customers should carefully check the timetable.
Important Note: As a result of operating with fewer tracks in PSNY, some trains in/out of PSNY may be required to utilize shorter platforms and will be required to have fewer cars. To preserve the maximum amount of peak period seats, some trains that currently operate with 10 cars will be reduced to 9 cars.
Ticketing/Fares for Montclair-Boonton Line Customers
Montclair-Boonton Line fares will be adjusted to offset the cost of PATH or NY Waterway (NYWW) ferry travel options into New York City during June, July, August and September. This provides customers with the ability to choose the alternative travel option which best suits their commute to New York City. The adjusted fare amount will be based on the customer’s origin and the destination stations on the Montclair-Boonton Line. For detailed fare information, please visit njtransit.com/inform.
Montclair-Boonton Line customers may purchase their PATH tickets at the large PATH Ticket Vending Machine in Hoboken Terminal or any one of the New York City PATH stations.
NY Waterway Ferry Option
Montclair-Boonton Line customers choosing to take ferry service into New York City during the summer may purchase a rail-ferry monthly combination pass at any of NJ TRANSIT’s Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs), Ticket Offices or the MyTix feature on the mobile app. Customers who prefer to buy one-way ferry tickets can purchase them at an adjusted fare by displaying their valid Montclair-Boonton Line ticket at the designated ticket window located in Hoboken Terminal.
Important note: Customers planning to return by ferry must purchase two one-way ferry tickets at Hoboken Terminal as these adjusted ferry tickets will NOT be available for purchase in New York City.
Regular weekday Midtown Direct service will resume on the Montclair-Boonton Line on Monday, Sept. 9. As a courtesy to customers, One-Way, Roundtrip, Ten-Trip and Reduced Fare tickets purchased will be valid through September 30th. These tickets will not be valid for travel beginning October 1st. Customers should only purchase the amount of tickets needed through September 30th as adjusted ferry tickets are not refundable.
Montclair-Boonton monthly passes with the adjusted fares will be available for purchase beginning May 19 at 5 p.m.
Weekly/One-Way/Round Trip/Ten-Trip/Reduced Fare tickets with the fare adjustment will be available for purchase beginning June 13.
Adjusted Montclair-Boonton Line rail tickets and passes will be valid only for rail service on the Montclair-Boonton Line. Montclair Boonton rail tickets will not be valid on the NEC, NJCL, RVL, M&E, Main/Bergen County, Port Jervis, Pascack Valley or Atlantic City lines.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com