The Kearney Connection project involved the construction of an electrified double-track, high-speed rail connection between New Jersey Transit’s (NJT) Morris and Essex Line, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Main Line. This connection enhanced the direct commuter service between northern New Jersey and Penn Station in Manhattan.
The project included two interconnecting ramps across an area of marshland. Work included standard and special track work, traction power and signals, and the construction of a converter station. The civil construction was undertaken by a private contractor for NJT, and the track, power, and signal work was carried out by Amtrak and NJT forces, respectively.
Bechtel provided construction management for the project, including preconstruction services, scheduling, constructability reviews, cost control, inspection, and monitoring Amtrak and New Jersey Transit force account work.
Travel times cut
Opened in June 1996, the high-speed through-run brought about significant cuts in journey times, reducing some trips by as much as 19 minutes. It also brought about greater convenience, as commuters previously had to change at Hoboken to trans-Hudson ferries or the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system to complete journeys to New York City. One week after the launch, ridership on the new services exceeded projections by a factor of three.