10 December 2007

The Big Puzzle

In reading all of the recent articles on the possible reactivation of the West Trenton rail line, it occurred to me that passenger train service for Hillsborough is really part of a bigger puzzle - one that includes not just the train station and transit village, but also the creation of Hillsborough's "town center", the redevelopment of the Belle Mead GSA Depot, and the Route 206 bypass.

While the town center plan has been around in its present form for several years now, the purchase of the old GSA depot is recent, and the Route 206 bypass plan has changed several times over the years - the newest plan being unveiled this past summer.

With these changes in mind, it makes sense to me to also re-examine the future location of the Hillsborough train station. The planned placement of the station at Amwell Road may no longer make sense.

It has been pointed out that the Amwell Road station would be less than three miles from the proposed Belle Mead station in Montgomery. While it is possible for two stations to be this close, or even closer - Somerville and Raritan, for instance - those stations serve existing town centers. There is nothing like that along the line from Amwell Road to Township Line Road.

I would like to see a proposal for a combined Hillsborough/Belle Mead station south of Hillsborough road, with direct access from the 206 bypass to the parking lot. A location that would serve the needs of Hillsborough and Montgomery residents, and also be near the GSA depot. In this proposal, Montgomery does not get a train station within their borders. Too bad. They could live with it - the same way Hillsborough had to accept the revised 206 bypass that took the highway away from Pike Run.


  1. Having two stations will allow more to people walk or bicycle to ride the line. Another benefit would be less pollution impact and traffic. Back road access to Amwell Road station is very good. The other location is in an already choked area. Many rail lines have closely spaced stations without a negative impact. Bridgewater is skipped by some expresses and so is Bound Brook. Service has been gone since 1984, lets hope it returns in our lifetime!

  2. Mike - I understand what you are saying. But neither the Montgomery or Hillsborough station would be in any kind of a downtown area like most of the other stations that are close together - so I just don't see anyone biking or riding to either station.