For affirmance -- Chief Justice Weintraub and Justices Francis, Proctor, Hall and Schettino. For reversal -- None.
[47 NJ Page 512] The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey petitioned the Commissioner of the State Department of Highways under Chapter 88, L. 1964; N.J.S.A. 48:12A-16.1 et seq. for leave to discontinue weekday train 101 from Jersey City to Phillipsburg, trains 107, 104 and 194 between Raritan and Phillipsburg, trains 3339, 3303 and 3322 between Jersey City and Bay Head Junction, train 444 from Raritan to Westfield, and train 436 from Raritan to Jersey City, Saturday trains 3369, 3353 and 3356 between Jersey City and Bay Head Junction, train 1101 from Jersey City to Phillipsburg, train 5056 from Atlantic Highlands to Matawan, Sunday and holiday trains 3373 and 3386 between Bay Head Junction and Jersey City, train 2403 from Jersey City to Raritan, trains 2199 and 2194 between Hampton and Phillipsburg, train 5086 from Atlantic Highlands to Matawan, to shorten the operation of trains 1107, 1104 and 1194, and to discontinue certain ferry service.
A public hearing was held on the petition pursuant to section 9 of the statute, L. 1964, c. 88, § 9; N.J.S.A. 48:12A-16.9. Evidence in support thereof was adduced by Central; no proof in opposition was offered by appellants Brotherhoods. Their participation consisted principally in the questioning of the railroad's witnesses and documents, and the presentation of the contention that Chapter 88, L. 1964, did not give the Commissioner power to authorize discontinuance of trains. No users of the service sought to be discontinued appeared in opposition.
At the hearing Central established its poor financial history over a number of years, but particularly since 1957, the last year it earned a profit. In that year the net profit was $143,000. Thereafter its annual net losses were:
1965 (3 months) 2,321,000.
Since 1960 the State of New Jersey in order to preserve essential commuter passenger service has made annual contract payments to Central ranging from a high of somewhat in excess of $1,500,000 to ...