Some Wenonah, N.J. residents say they don’t want a proposed commuter train line to stop in their town.
Wenonah, in Gloucester County, is one of 14 proposed train stations for the a Glassboro to Camden light rail plan, that is still in the planning stages. The passenger cars would be similar to those currently in use on the Riverlink line running from Camden to Trenton along the Delaware River.
At a public hearing last Thursday in Wenonah, about 30 residents turned out and many of them expressed more concerns than jubilation about having a train stop in their small borough.
Resident Eileen Caraker raised the issue of noise wondering whether the trains would blare their horns as they approached the Wenonah station. Representatives from the Glassboro-Camden project said that the community can apply to the Federal Railroad Administration to have railroad crossings become quiet zones.
Mark Honabach said he was concerned that the train stop would increased traffic in the community. The project representatives said trains would run every 7.5 minutes during peak hours and only stop at stations for an average of 30 and 45 seconds. The GCL trains would operate from 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.
The Wenonah Borough Council, which could support or oppose having a train stop, asked for project representatives to hold the public hearing to help answer residents’ questions. If Wenonah opposes a train station, the commuter train could still pass through the town but just not stop.
When residents were asked by a show of hands if they liked or disliked the idea of a Wenonah stop, the majority of those attending indicated they are opposed to the idea.
The Glassboro-Camden Line, a joint project of NJ Transit and the Delaware River Port Authority, would run for 18 miles and operate along an existing rail corridor but new tracks would be laid down.
The GCL, as it is envisioned, would make stops in Glassboro, Pitman, Sewell, Mantua Twp., Deptford Twp. Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, Woodbury, Westville, Brooklawn, Gloucester City, and Camden. A trip from Glassboro to Camden would take 40 mins. Commuters could then transfer to PATCO to go into Philadelphia. If approved, construction is scheduled to begin in 2016 and full operations would begin in 2019.
The team expects to release a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to the public by summer, with public meetings to follow in September.