ON DECEMBER 7 NJ Transit selected a consortium of Bechtel and Adtranz to design, build, operate and maintain a 55 km ’diesel light rail’ line along the Delaware River corridor from Trenton to Camden. Southern New Jersey Rail Group bid US$615m for the contract, which will be awarded after a review of the bidding by state officials. Work should begin this year, enabling services to start in 2002.

SNJLRT will be the first line in the USA to run modern lightweight diesel railcars on an existing freight railway, currently operated by Conrail. The initial segment will serve 20 stations in the suburban Mercer, Burlington, and Camden counties, serving a mix of urban, suburban, commercial and industrial zones with much potential for redevelopment and economic revitalisation.

Other partners are Conti Enterprises, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Metroplex Corp, LB Foster and LK Comstock & Co.