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Spring 2001 Part 3 Princeton Jct, Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line and Mets Game

by Chris Guenzler

4/18/2006 A 6:15 AM wake-up call started me off for the day. The hotel bill was under the door so I returned the key to the front desk of the Holiday Inn Express, an excellent place to stay in Philadelphia. I then headed back to the Market East SEPTA station, stopping at Dunkin' Donuts along the way. I bought a SEPTA Center City ticket and rode the R3 Elwyn train back to 30th Street Station. I sat on the bench in the Grand Hall until the flip down train board gave me my track number.

Keystone 640 4/18/2006

I was welcomed to Keystone Service by the wonderful voice of Conductor Marvin singing "New York, New York"! This is the first time I had taken a Keystone Service train and this one would be ridden from Philadelphia to Princeton Junction.

The train came to Zoo Tower in Philadelphia, which controls this important junction of the Northeast Corridor and the Harrisburg line.

Our train crossed the Schuylkill River.

As the train got up to speed, I spotted a privately owned E-unit at North Philadelphia.

Later we crossed the Delaware River, with the world famous sign that reads "What Trenton makes, the World Takes!" The train stopped at Trenton, then made the sprint for Princeton Junction where I would detrain to take a short ride and to photograph trains while I was there. This was a new stop for me and a new New Jersey Transit line for me to ride

Princeton Jct., New Jersey 4/18/2006

NJT Train 3823 bound for Trenton.

Acela Express 2109 New York to Washington at speed.

NJT 3926 bound for New York City.

NJT Shuttle Train to Princeton

I walked from the south end of the east platform down a sidewalk to the station. I went through a tunnel under the four tracks, then up a hill to the waiting train. I learned that this service is locally called "The Dinky" or the "PJ&B" meaning Princeton Junction and Back. I asked the conductor about getting a ticket and she advised me to ride to Princeton and purchase my ticket there. I boarded car 1326 for the trip. The tracks made a right turn before heading northwest with a few slight curves. We crossed Stoney Brook with Carnegie being seen off to the east before we entered the campus of Princeton University. We came to a stop at the stone station located on University Place.

Princeton, New Jersey

After enjoying the fresh morning air, I returned on the 9:18 AM train for the five minute trip back to Princeton Junction.

One last picture after I returned to Princeton Jct for more passenger train action.

NJT 3936 for New York.

Keystone Train 642.

Acela Express 2151 Boston to Washington.

NJT 3822 for Trenton.

NJT 3938 Local for New York.

Amtrak Regional 130 heading to New York.

NJT 3829 Trenton Local.

NJT 3840 New York Local.

Amtrak Regional 172 Washington to Boston.

Princeton Shuttle out in the clear.

The Pennsylvanian New York to Pittsburgh.

Acela Express 2153 Boston to Washington passing the Pennsylvanian at track speed.

Keystone 646 4/18/2006

I boarded the last car and took a rear facing seat for the trip to New York City.

While I was relaxing, we arrived at the Newark Airport station where I saw their Monorail also arriving. The Monorail is the connection from the train station to the airport. We pulled into New York Penn Station and I walked the four-and-a-half blocks to the Herald Square Hotel. I checked in and took my bags up to my room.

From there I went back to the front desk to get directions to the 32nd and Broadway PATH Station.

Path 4/18/2006

I found my way down into the terminal where I purchased a ticket to Hoboken and boarded a waiting train. The route heads south to 23rd Street then onto 14th and 9th before turning west. We stopped at Christopher Street station and then went under the Hudson River to a junction with the line to Journal Square and the World Trade Center before we arrived at the Hoboken Terminal.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Line 4/18/2006

I boarded car 2027 for the trip to 22nd Street. The train departed at 12:40 PM and after passing the New Jersey Transit rail yard, we came to a junction and turned left. Our route was elevated for a short stretch, giving passengers a great view of the Manhattan skyline. We returned to ground level for Pavonia/Newport then proceeded to Harsimus Cove. Everything we passed was recently built. Harborside Financial Center was the next stop after two hard turns, the first to the left, and then to the right. A little "S" curve took us to Exchange Place. Essex Street was next after a hard right turn. Marin Boulevard was after another "S" curve to the right. On the way to Jersey Avenue Station in Jersey City, plenty of new construction was taking place. Another "S" curve, this one to the left, followed by a large horseshoe curve, took us to Liberty State Park. Just south of here is the junction with the line to West Side Avenue which took off to the right. We stopped to change crews before we passed the shops. The train did some fast running to Richards Street and Danforth Street. We entered Bayonne, stopping at 45th Street, 34th Street and finally 22nd Street, the south end of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line. I detrained to take some pictures.

I spoke with the operator before reboarding the car for the trip to Liberty State Park. I had a twelve-minute wait for a West Side Avenue trolley that would take me to my next end point. At the junction, we turned right before stopping to change crews. We then headed southwest to Garfield Avenue and between here at Martin Luther King Drive, the line seemed to be a former rail line due to brick work in the cuts. Riding the light rail line is truly the safe way to see this neighborhood. We crossed over to the other track before we arrived at West Side Avenue.

At West Side Avenue I took this picture at this end of the line.

At West Side Avenue I took a picture of the trolley. I validated my new ticket and took another picture. As I did, the operator blew his horn then waved his finger No! No! No! When I boarded, the operator said that no pictures were allowed from New Jersey Transit property. I told him that it had been in the press and that George Warrington, the former Amtrak Chief Executive Officer and Head of New Jersey Transit had rescinded that policy. The operator said no one bothered to tell him, so I agreed not to take any more pictures on this trip. I would now return to Hoboken Junction before getting the new mileage to Tonnelle Street. We went all the way back to Hoboken Junction where we turned left onto a new route for me. We ran along the New Jersey Transit yard lead and then ran under the New Jersey Transit mainline before entering the tunnel under the New Jersey Palisades. This route took us to 2nd Street. We ran along the New Jersey Palisades to 9th Street before we made a big "S" curve to Lincoln Harbor. We climbed up and over a highway that gave a great view of Manhattan. We then turned west to enter the Weehawken Tunnel under the New Jersey Palisades, which was originally the West Shore Railroad's main line. Inside this tunnel is the Bergen Line Avenue station. At the west end of the tunnel we returned to daylight and crossed over to arrive at Tonnelle Street station.

I took a pair of pictures at the Tonnelle Street station. I saw a worker going into the rest station at this end of the line and asked about the NJT picture taking policy. She went inside to get an official answer and a minute later returned saying that the only place you are not allowed to take pictures is of passengers onboard their train. Stations and everywhere else was fine. I thought I saw a caboose across the street but it turned out to be a building with couplers added.

I returned to the east pedestrian bridge just as my train was coming out of the tunnel and into the station. I boarded this trolley back to Hoboken.

I took a picture looking across the Hudson River at New York City minus the Twin Towers that I truly miss.

I took a picture of NJT PL42AC 4007 at Hoboken. I walked back to the PATH Station.

Path back to New York City 4/18/2006

I got on a waiting train and a few minutes later I returned to 33rd Street in Manhattan for an hour of rest.

New York Mets Game 4/18/2006

As my regular readers know, I have a goal of visiting all the Major League Baseball parks. The Phillies just happened to be out of town when I was in Philadelphia, but the Mets were home when I was in New York City. I researched how to get to Shea Stadium and discovered it would be easy. Walk to Penn Station Route 1 train and take it one stop to Times Square station. Here, I would transfer to Route 7 train to Shea Stadium. So that is what I did, but I got lucky. After taking the standing room only Route 1 train one stop to Times Square, I went down and boarded a Route 7 express train that made only six stops so my trip went quicker than expected.

The subway train that brought me to Shea Stadium. I walked the short walk to Shea Stadium where my bag was inspected and I got wanded. I took the escalator up to Section 1, Row 5, Seat 13.

The view from my seat of the subway station with a train approaching. It was a really windy late afternoon and early evening, so it was jacket weather for the baseball game. I enjoyed two hot dogs and a Mountain Dew. Shea Stadium serves Pepsi.

Now to the game. The Atlanta Braves scored two runs when Adam La Rouche doubled. In the third inning, Andruw Jones then hit a deep two-run home run to center field. Four pitches later, Adam La Rouche hit a deep shot to right field. In the bottom of that inning, Chris Woodward hit a solo home run for the Mets' only run. In the fifth inning, Andruw Jones hit another two-run home run into the left field stands, ending the scoring for the evening. For the Braves, Kyle Davies pitched a complete game giving up just three hits, one run and walking one. It was a great game to watch but the Mets fans have the dirtiest mouths that I have ever experienced at a major league ball park I was glad to be leaving Shea Stadium and returned to Times Square on a subway train that made all twenty stops. I made the easy connection back to Penn Station which was very lively after the New York Rangers lost their last regular season hockey game to the Ottawa Senators. On my return to the Herald Square Hotel, I stopped off for some postcards before I called it a night.

Part 4 Home via the Cardinal and Southwest Chief.