-- Belleville has responded and is in the process of becoming one of NJ Transit's "Transit Villages", or, adapting policies favorable and encouraging towards mass transit. The NCS Expansion is one of their priorities and appears to be picking up steam. More on this as it develops.
-- I've contacted Sens. Menendez and Lautenberg regarding the project, to try and get some help getting Newark's attention. If anyone has any suggestions please leave them in the comments or let me know via email. Sen. Menendez responded by spamming me with his email newsletter, which I did not sign up for and frankly do not want, and Sen. Lautenberg's office advised that their Transportation representative (huh?) will look into this and get back to me. I've faxed the proposal, modified slightly for faxing, to Mr. Lautenberg's office.
-- I've been bouncing an idea around regarding what to do in East Newark, Harrison, and parts of Kearny. Specifically, I'm talking about where the rails cross Passaic Avenue on the border of East Newark and Kearny, in Harrison where the rails cross Schuyler Avenue, and in Kearny where the rails cross over Bergen Avenue and pass onward to the old Boonton Line. The tracks in these areas are either missing or covered over.
Crossing Passaic Avenue, there used to be a bridge which was pulled down due to its being a hinderance for truck traffic in the area. On either side of where this small bridge used to be, the rails are still in place, and the bridge can either be replaced with a taller, lighter bridge or the embankments can be lowered and the street level raised to allow the rails to cross at street level. Either way, part of the current embankments would need to be removed. My vote goes for the total removal of the embankments and raising the street level to allow the trains to cross the street itself.
Crossing Schuyler Avenue, the tracks were basically covered over with blacktop when the road was repaved in the area. This means that the road would need to be pulled up and the small segment crossing Schuyler would need to be replaced. Probably the least of the issues here.
Crossing Bergen Avenue, the tracks appear to have been pulled up a long while ago. I'm not quite sure where they stop but I've been meaning to find out for a while now. Most of this project and its documentation were put together using Google Maps, and while that service has amazing accuracy with regards to literally everything else, in the case of rails it seems to have fallen behind a little. For example, Google Maps and Google Earth list the rail line that the Newark City Subway's Grove Street Station is on as going literally all the way into West Orange, stopping a few blocks shy of the Edison Historic Site. While that'd be awesome if it were the case today, it's simply not the case right now - from what I can tell just by looking at the current satellite view on Google Maps, there are homes and streets that line the area the rails supposedly occupy. If anyone can verify the existence of rails on this path, by the way, I'd love to include it in any future expansion plans. As for the Bergen Avenue area, they may be pulled up but the right of way is still there and is still blank - which means putting new rails down won't be as big an issue as it might've been if there were never rails there in the first place.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Leave them below!