The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Subway to Secaucus' idea has local roots


Sketch map of a 'Subway to Secaucus' proposal with local roots.

Gov. Christie's thumbs down to the Hudson River Rail Tunnel project, which would have given Plainfield commuters a one-seat ride to New York City, disappointed me greatly.

Having made that commute the first year I lived in Plainfield and still worked in the publishing industry in New York, I pictured what a relief it would be to the 900-plus commuters who use Plainfield's two train stations each day to just sink back in their seats and forget about the Track 1 shuffle in Newark or the dash up the stairs and down the ramp to Track 5 on the return leg in the evening.

Situation hopeless?

Not exactly.

Turns out two New Jersey dudes -- Steve Lanset and Ralph Braskett -- had the idea years ago, and even set up a website to promote it (see here), though, Rodney Dangerfield-like, they got no respect.

Suddenly, though, they have been 'discovered' by the likes of the New York Times, which profiles their proposal in today's edition (see here).

Though the Times misidentifies Braskett's hometown as Plainfield (he lives in North Plainfield), it pleases me greatly that this interesting idea has local roots.

And though the sketch map of their idea is done on a sheet of ruled paper, the two gave a lot of thought to the idea (check out the website's links) and concluded that subway service could be built more cheaply and more quickly and would have the additional, compelling advantage of putting commuters directly into the subway system rather than dumping them into the Penn Station complex from which they would have to scurry, vole-like, into the maws of the subways to reach their final destinations.

I for one am glad Messrs Braskett and Lanset are getting their time in the spotlight (and would be even happier for them if there was a ka-ching in their future as a result).

And I don't mind in the least that the Grey Lady considers Braskett a Plainfielder.

Now if we could just get the No. 7 from Secaucus to Plainfield.

Without, of course, opening doors in Westfield (inside joke).


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2 comments:

Bernice said...

Ralph Braskett is a mainstay of FUSP so he might as well be a Plainfielder.

Anonymous said...

Even if the NJ Transit tunnel was built it was my understanding that only electric trains make the trip into NYC.
If that is the case where would the money come from to electrify the Raritan Valley line. Based on previous cost estimates it could cost ~$700MM, not including the cost of new rolling stock and engines.