Office of the Governor
Upcoming Southern NJ Light Rail Transit
SystemTours State-of-the-Art Model Vehicle
Governor Whitman announced the next major milestone in the advance of the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System (SNJLRTS), when she publicly presented a model of the new light rail vehicles that will be operating between Trenton and Camden. The SNJLRTS model vehicle is one half of a full scale car and is on display at a station mock-up located directly behind the project's Community Outreach Center in Riverside.
"Less than three years from now, light rail will be carrying passengers to destinations throughout the Route 130 corridor. The model car and station are the next installments in a project that will generate jobs, open new markets for economic growth and increase personal mobility for thousands of people throughout the region," said Governor Whitman.
The SNJLRTS is a 34-mile passenger light rail line which will link Trenton with Camden. With 20 station stops, the light rail system will connect riders to the larger transportation networks of NJ TRANSIT, Amtrak, PATCO and SEPTA.
The project, a public/private partnership and the largest public transit investment of state dollars in southern New Jersey in recent memory, will make significant infrastructure improvements throughout the 34-mile corridor. In addition, the SNJLRTS is expected to create more than 4,000 construction and construction-related jobs and 200 permanent career opportunities.
Being built as a design, build, operate and maintain project, the SNJLRTS's $604 million contract was awarded on June 1, 1999 to the Southern New Jersey Rail Group, LLC., a consortium led by Bechtel and Adtranz. Construction milestones for the project include: work underway at a new shop and yard facility on the Camden/Pennsauken border; utility relocation in Camden; track rehabilitation or replacement at several locations along the alignment; and, the construction of a new railroad bridge on the Rancocas Creek between Riverside and Delanco.
The model light rail vehicle and station mock-up provide an excellent opportunity for area residents to experience light rail long before the system becomes operational in early 2003.
New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman, James Weinstein said, "These are state-of-the-art vehicles and we're pleased to have the chance to showcase them so far in advance of the project's completion. We look forward to using this model as an educational tool for residents, school children, seniors and the disabled; giving everyone a hands-on example of the next generation in public transportation in southern New Jersey."
Each light rail car can seat 100 passengers with room, if necessary, for 100 more standing. Fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, the vehicle's low-floor feature makes it easy to board for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. Each car is approximately 102 feet long, 10 feet wide and 12.5 feet high.
"Putting new transit technologies to work is at the heart of the changes taking place at NJ TRANSIT. With traffic congestion reflecting the increases in residential and commercial development, we must seek new, innovative ways of getting people out of their cars and off the roads. Light rail offers us a more efficient and environmentally-better alternative" said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director, Jeffrey Warsh. Powered by clean-burning diesel fuel engines - quieter than commuter rail or even bus engines - the vehicle's power plant exceeds federal air quality standards.