Residents of the Ampere Neighborhood Want Their Station Back

Three members of the Ampere Alliance appeared at the Lackawanna Coalition meeting on February 27 and described their efforts to persuade New Jersey Transit to restore service at the Ampere Station, for the first time after it was discontinued almost 32 years ago.

From 1893 until 1991, the Lackawanna Railroad and its successors, the Erie-Lackawanna and NJ Transit, stopped at the former station, located in the northeastern corner of East Orange near Newark and Bloomfield. The station was on the old Montclair Branch (now part of the Montclair- Boonton Line) between Watsessing Avenue in Bloomfield and Roseville Avenue in Newark, where the line to Montclair and beyond split from the Morris & Essex Line, and which had lost its trains in 1984. The station was named after André-Marie Ampère, a pioneer in electrodynamics, after whom the unit of electrical current is named.

There was a proposal by the City of East Orange to revive the station in 2005. A planner who represented the city presented the idea to the Coalition at that time, and the Coalition was supportive, but the idea got only as far as a feasibility study. From 1968 until the Montclair Connection opened in 2002, the only trains on the Montclair Branch ran during historic commuting hours between Hoboken and Montclair. Full weekday service to Montclair State Station began in 2002, and limited weekend service (between Bay Street and Hoboken) started in 2010. There has been renewed interest from time to time in reviving the station, and there is now a petition circulating among local residents.

Miguel Saltos, one of the presenters for the Association, told the Coalition that the Ampere neighborhood has improved since service ended, and that he believed that there would be substantial ridership for a revived stop, and that local businesses would also benefit. He mentioned that property values are rising, businesses are opening, and many local households do not have automobiles. East Orange’s other stations (Brick Church and the eponymous East Orange Station) are both across town from, and not easily accessible to, residents in the Ampere neighborhood. The Coalition voted to approve a resolution supporting the restoration of service at Ampere and is scheduled to ratify the precise language of that resolution at its meeting scheduled for March 27.

Note: The article has been edited to correct the name of the Ampere Alliance, correct Miguel Saltos’ name, and to add the specific information about weekend service on the Montclair-Boonton line (between Bay Street and Hoboken).

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