In an effort to attract gamblers to their casinos in Atlantic City, Borgata, Caesars and Harrah’s have agreed to finance the operation of weekend New Jersey Transit passenger services from New York.

The casinos will pay $15m for the acquisition of eight double-deck coaches and will provide a $4m annual operating subsidy for the trains, which will offer gamblers onboard dining during the 2 1/2 h trip. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is providing a further $4·5m to lease locos from Amtrak. The demonstration service will initially operate for three years from 2007. The casinos expect the trains to be used by around 1100 people each weekend, and at least a quarter of the seats on the 18 journeys will be available to the public. ’Anytime we can increase service without having to invest the money ourselves is a plus,’ said New Jersey’ Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.