Friday, August 21, 2009

Train Nerdery

Since I needed to be in Camden yesterday evening anyway, I took the opportunity to take a little roundtrip ride on the 5 year old River Line, a Diesel-Electric light rail system that travels from Camden to Trenton. I remember it being a pretty derided project, with fairly low ridership projections that many thought were too optimistic. Population density isn't that high anywhere along the route, including at the endpoints of Camden and Trenton, so pessimism about the project was probably warranted. But it's actually become quite popular, basically at capacity ridership during the week (9000/day). It's kind of a throwback, in a way, winding it's way through a series of smaller towns and cities, the kind of route where there mostly just aren't trains anymore. Given the route and density, I'm surprised at the ridership figures. It was packed when I was on it.