Not as long as it used to be.
There’s something fascinating about a branch line. A single meandering track, often built for the single purpose of linking an important town or industry with the mainline. Branch lines are simple railroads; light appendages; feeder lines.
Once upon a time branch line passenger trains were part of the fabric of American transportation. A single engine and coach might traverse the line several times daily to meet through trains on the mainline. The conductor on the branch was a friendly chap who may have worked the line for years.
New Jersey Transit’s Princeton Branch is the shortest regular scheduled branch passenger train in the United States. A pair of electric EMU’s scuttle back and forth on the train to connect with the Northeast Corridor at Princeton Junction.
Until a few months ago, the branch served a handsome old station in Princeton. But the ever wise transportation visionaries decided this was too good to continue and forced a trimming of the line, moving its terminus further from downtown. It’s an old story, new again.
Someone said something about it being cheaper to run a bus? Better than an electric train?
Might the Princeton Dinky join the hundreds of other branch American services that once dotted the pages of the official guide? There’s always that nefarious illusion of ‘progress’ often offered as the explanation for ill-minded change.
Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.
Please share Tracking the Light!