As of January 12, 2015, the number of Raritan Valley Line trains, powered by dual-mode locomotives and providing “one-seat” rides into and out of Penn Station New York, rose to 18. A 3-year federal grant made the new service possible. The new late evening weekday trains serve riders leaving Manhattan on weekday evenings after the peak commuting hours.
The late evening “one-seat” trains depart from Penn Station New York at 8:02 pm, 9:13 pm, 10:10 pm and 11:13 pm. In parallel, four weekday evening trains from Westfield also operate with “one-seat” service into Penn Station New York. These leave Westfield at 7:11 pm, 8:24 pm, 9:21 pm and 10:25 pm and arrive at Penn Station New York at 8:48 pm, 9:48 pm, 10:48 pm and 12:08 am.
The remaining 10 of the “one-seat” trains, which started in March 2014, operate on weekdays in the late morning to early afternoon to and from Penn Station New York. The inbound “one-seat” trains leave Westfield at 9:16 am, 10:21 am, 11:23 am, 12:23 pm and 1:21 pm.
The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition has asked NJ TRANSIT to expand “one-seat” service on the Raritan Valley Line to weekends. NJ Transit staff, pointing to the agency’s severe operating budget constraints, has required that any expansion to the weekends of “one-seat” service on the Raritan Valley Line incur no additional costs. The Coalition is currently exploring its options and hopes to make a proposal to NJ Transit shortly.
Update provided by Martin Robins, RVRC Trustee