Rail planning in New Jersey involves both freight and passenger travel, for both local and long distance travel. NJ DOT Multimodal Services focuses on freight rail transportation and coordinates with the Class 1s, Regional and Short Line railroads. The Department also coordinates with NJTRANSIT for the provision of statewide transportation. NJTRANSIT’s focus is on passenger service, and coordinates with Amtrak on shared track and long distance passenger travel.
- In late 2008, Congress passed the landmark Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act (PRIIA). This legislation mandates that each state prepare a rail plan including both passenger and freight transportation. The Department has recently cooperated with NJ Transit to prepare a State Rail Plan, http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/freight/rail/plan.shtm covering both passenger and freight travel. This plan is now in final draft stage. The State Rail Plan provides the opportunity to articulate New Jersey's vision for rail freight and passenger transportation, and to establish priorities for future investments and operations. The Plan will become a roadmap for maximizing the utility and potential of New Jersey's rail assets for passenger, freight and combined use track.
- NJ DOT has also prepared a Freight Rail Strategic Plan. The plan was developed in consultation with the rail community and identified the major concerns which the Department and the rail community should focus on. Not surprisingly, the highest priority projects are those which will remove height and weight restrictions.