In a statement released today, the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers announced that it would not further challenge a recent decision of the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB). This effectively ends the group’s attempt to seek federal review of the abandonment of a portion of the “Dinky” right-of-way used for the Princeton University “Arts and Transit” Project.
In the statement, NJARP President Len Resto indicated that the group “made the decision not to appeal to the courts with reluctance” noting that the STB ruling “sets a dangerous precedent for the conversion of a rail corridor to non-rail use simply because the land is more valuable or private development.”
The advocacy group had been arguing that the shortening of the “Dinky” train line, which runs from downtown Princeton to the NEC Princeton Junction Station, was an abandonment that required approval from the federal agency. The STB’s recent decision however indicated that the agency did not have jurisdiction to review NJ Transit’s approval of the shortening of the line and the move of the station to accommodate the University’s development.
The STB challenge was one of several brought by local and transportation advocacy groups seeking to block NJ Transit and Princeton University’s decision to relocate the Princeton Train station further from Nassau Street.
Construction on the University project began last year, and is expected to be completed in 2017. The Dinky train service was moved from its prior location to a temporary station in August 2013 – and will move to its new, permanent station sometime this fall.
The full text of the group’s statement can be found here.