Folks In NJ Seaside Town Not Enthused About Extending Rail

Bay Head, NJ, is a town that tends, like the rest of Ocean County, to vote Republican. But, you have a lot of rich, left leaning Democrats from North Jersey who own shore homes there

Rich New Jersey Shore Enclave Says No to Climate-Change Rail Project

A project to end increasing rounds of flood damage is pitting New Jersey Transit against an oceanside enclave of multimillion-dollar homes.

Bay Head, where billionaire philanthropist Peter Kellogg learned to sail as a kid, is the last stop on the North Jersey Coast Line that runs about 70 miles north to Manhattan. It’s also the site where NJ Transit, the nation’s largest statewide commuter-transportation provider, is spending $32 million to rebuild a power station damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

But town officials and some residents want no part of an effort to boost trains used more by summer visitors than themselves. Opponents cite the construction’s potential to contaminate Twilight Lake, which feeds Barnegat Bay, the state’s largest inland waterway. And while Governor Phil Murphy — a regular at the upscale Charlie’s of Bay Head restaurant on the lake’s edge — calls for 50% clean energy statewide by 2030, the project will leave the town’s trains still relying on diesel fuel.

“You have a governor who’s opposed to fossil fuels and meanwhile, they have a train that’s polluting the environment,” said beachfront homeowner Lawrence E. Bathgate II, 82, an attorney and former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. “It’s as if we’re second-class citizens.” (big snip)

Summertime passengers push Bay Head’s daily boardings to about 286, double the off-season figure. The new elevated substation, with a completion date in late 2023, will provide steady electricity to the rail yard, ultimately benefiting all the line’s riders, NJ Transit says.

The train in Bay Head is really not used that much, and is the start of the line all the way up to Penn Station in NYC. I’ve ridden it many a time from the next station north, Manasquan. A goodly chunk of the Bay Head riders don’t even live in Bay Head.

Mayor Bill Curtis, in an interview, said the town had spent around $200,000 challenging the plan. Bay Head got design concessions, but its greater concern is the pumping of millions of gallons of water into Twilight Lake and the Barnegat Bay — keeping the construction area dry but potentially disturbing fuel and other contaminants spilled decades ago.

“It’s just unnecessary,” said Curtis, 78, a Republican and mayor for 14 years. “They’re not willing to do anything to assist the residents of Bay Head.”

Save Barnegat Bay, a non-profit group working to reverse decades of environmental damage, in a lawsuit claims that the project lacks wetlands permits and has disturbed nesting ospreys and other wildlife. Twilight Lake and the bay “are entitled to the highest protections of the Clean Water Act and New Jersey laws,” according to the lawsuit, filed on June 24.

This plan goes back almost two decades, where NJ Transit wants to “advance a plan to upgrade the fueling, light maintenance and storage operations at the existing Bay Head yard — which was originally constructed in 1872 — to comply with new Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations and to help address community concerns including noise, lighting and diesel fumes.” Bay Head wants nothing to do with this. And now the state is trying to do this to deal with the climate crisis scam. You think Gov Phil Murphy takes the train? How about Warmists coming to the shore? Lots of people are enthused to Do Something about ‘climate change’ in theory, not in practice.

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One Response to “Folks In NJ Seaside Town Not Enthused About Extending Rail”

  1. Professor hale says:

    More rich boomers demanding their grandchildren be taxed higher to pay for the boomer’s lifestyle and property values. I have no sympathy for them. I don’t care that they are Republicans. They act like democrats. At 78 and 80 years old, there is no reason why anyone should care about their long term plans. “long term” doesn’t mean what they think it means.

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