UNDER CONSTRUCTION for more than eight years, the $450m Secaucus Transfer interchange in New Jersey will see its first fare-paying passengers on September 6. However, NJ Transit board decided on July 31 that the multilevel station linking 10 of its 11 commuter rail routes will initially be open only at weekends so that passengers and staff can get to know the facilities.

The station is intended to offer a convenient interchange between NJ Transit services from northern New Jersey to Hoboken Terminal and those from the west and southwest which run into New York’s Penn Station (MR 00 p46). It is expected to cut journey times by 10 to 15 min for passengers heading into Manhattan.

The suspension of PATH metro services from Hoboken to lower Manhattan following the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks changed travel patterns, filling up the spare capacity on Manhattan-bound trains intended to accommodate passengers joining at Secaucus. The new station will only be able to open fully in November, when PATH resumes operation to the temporary terminal being built at the World Trade Center site (RG 8.03 p478).

On July 31 the NJT board also approved a $1·3bn budget for the next financial year, which envisages diverting $295m from capital projects to cover operating losses. The agency was able to make savings of $27m, but the cost of running new services, including the opening of Secaucus Transfer, is expected to add $48m to the annual operating bill.

Executive Director George Warrington announced a number of changes to operational procedures following a derailment on July 14 caused by a wheel falling off an Arrow III EMU carrying 1200 passengers. There were no serious injuries.