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(This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 2, 1998.

All rights reserved.)

Between the LInes

If you were looking at the New York Times New Jersey

section the other day (Sunday, November 22) you might have noticed the

lengthy feature on the crowding of commuter trains leading from New

Jersey into midtown Manhattan.

We read the Times piece and found it both fascinating and also vaguely

familiar. That’s because U.S. 1 printed a similar story 11 years ago

(September 23, 1987) in which Robert Saxon outlined most of the same

issues that contributed to the crowding back then and that pretty much

guaranteed that the crowding would only get worse. Saxon wrote about

the inherent limitations of the rail system, including the simple fact

that only so many cars can be squeezed onto the tracks between

Princeton and midtown at any given time. And that the obvious solution

of converting the present cars to double deckers (what a great idea)

wasn’t so obvious after all. There’s a tunnel under the Hudson River

that’s more like a funnel — one lane in each direction — and it will

not accommodate the double deckers. The Times reported that officials

from New Jersey and New York are contemplating a second tunnel. It

would require $5 billion in funding and at least a decade to build.

Saxon’s U.S. 1 story obviously did not offer much relief for the

harried commuters of central New Jersey. And Craig Terry’s cover

photograph for that story captured the commuting agony. It focussed on

a single weary businessmen, with a blur of frenetic travelers

disembarking from the train.

Years after that photo was published a man appeared at the U.S. 1

office and asked if he could obtain a back issue of the paper, the one

about commuting. He was our cover subject and he reported that shortly

after our story he had suffered a heart attack and given up commuting

forever. The photograph was a reminder of just what an ordeal the

commuter had endured.

In this issue Bob Saxon writes again for U.S. 1 — this time about

things that are working and that promise to get even better with time.

Saxon, along with senior editor Barbara Fox and correspondent

Christopher Mario, visited the R&D labs of the greater Princeton

business community recently, and returned with reports on developments

in the area of video imaging and display (see page 53).

Princeton, still known as the birthplace of color television, is now a

hotbed of another generation of video and imaging breakthroughs. We

can’t begin to guess what this research will lead to in the next 11

years. But we are sure that we will keep all of you posted on the

developments. Stay focussed.

Kids Places

Several readers noted that we omitted the contact information for the

children’s discovery center we profiled in last week’s issue. In fact,

a desktop publishing error resulted in the following list to be

omitted:

The Wonder Museum, 385 Route 130, East Windsor

08520. 609-371-6150; fax, 609-371-6151. Cost on weekends is $7.99 per

person for both children and adults.

Please Touch Museum, the Children’s Museum of

Philadelphia. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $6.95 for adults and

children ages one and over. 215-963-0667. Interactive holiday exhibit

boxes through January 4, and the original John Wanamaker’s Rocket

Express monorail.

Discovery House — a Hands-on Museum for Kids, 152 Tices

Lane, East Brunswick. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 5:30 p.m.,

$6.50 for everyone older than 18 months. 732-254-3770.


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