Photos: Princeton mayor and members of Save the Dinky tour battery-powered train in Pa.

Princeton alumnus Henry Posner (r) talks to Princeton Mayor Mark Freda and Princeton Professor Alain Kornhauser and other members of Save the Dinky about his new train.

Princeton Mayor Mark Freda and several supporters of the citizen group Save the Dinky took a field trip to Rockhill Furnace, Pa. on Thursday to ride a bright orange and black train that is powered by a battery.

The environmentally friendly train, the first battery-powered train in the U.S., is the latest project by Princeton University alumnus Henry Posner III, whose company operates regional rail systems in the U.S. and abroad. The two-car train is the pilot project for Posner’s latest venture, Pop-Up Metro. The modular trains can be inserted onto existing rail infrastructure quickly and cheaply, making it easy to demonstrate and test proposals for new train systems or new train equipment. The train being demonstrated in Rockhill Furnace could operate on NJ Transit rail lines and could be an alternative to replace the Dinky train, the shuttle that runs between Princeton and Princeton Junction that NJ Transit has said will soon become obsolete. A transit study is currently underway about the future of the Dinky train, which could be replaced by other train equipment or a bus.

Anita Garoniak of Save the Dinky said she was impressed with Posner’s project and said the train is beautiful.

“It looks like a great option to replace the currents Dinky train cars,” she said. “It’s is electric and does not use fossil fuel. It is more modern, it has USB charging units for every seat, it’s sleek, and it is roomier than the current rail cars. There is no need to change the rail line. It fits right on the tracks. There is also no need for the overhead wires. They could be removed, along with the potential hazard that someone might climb on the train.”

The train is ready for passengers in Rockhill Furnace, Pa.
The interior of the train cars.
All aboard with Princeton alumnus Henry Posner.
The charger cable for the train.
The train’s colors happen to be orange and black, Princeton University’s colors.
Former Princeton Borough Mayor Yina Moore on the train with Henry Posner.
Princeton Mayor Mark Freda (c) with Henry Posner and Alain Kornhauser.


  1. It would be nice if the mayor and council consider the taxpayer and using hard-earned tax money wisely instead of for every whim of a council member. Why not change back Witherspoon to they way it was instead of spending money to study how to change it and then millions on changing in an effort to make a town with a two way road completely pedestrian friendly, which it will never be. Just because the mayor is a fan of Jeff Speck the town has to host him at The Nassau Inn. Who paid for that boondoggle? Now an electric train expenditure? Not to mention they want to make Princeton a Pot Shop Go To location and user heaven with three RECREATIONAL pot shops in downtown Princeton. Just what we need: stoned deadheads in Palmer Square. Say good bye to family friendly downtown. Why would you want to bring drugs closer to Princeton University students? This is by far one of the most foolish decisions of the mayor and council. All in the name of justice and not in the best interest of the character of the town or the families who live here. You know, the taxpayers.

  2. This electric train is a great idea for the Dinky. Mayor Freda and other officials should pursue its feasibility expeditiously. And how about getting the University to use electric buses for Tiger Transit instead of its current diesel fleet? Shouldn’t Princeton be an innovator in low carbon transportation?

  3. An electric train that runs on overhead wires such as the current dinky is significantly more environmentally friendly than running on batteries. Batteries involve a large amount of environmental waste. If we’re truly concerned about the environment then we need to build, in a dense walkable way, along the dinky line with new stations so that people can live and work without depending on fossil fuels or battery powered vehicles.

  4. If you read the link, a Princeton student was electrocuted after climbing on top of the Dinky. The university has long wanted to get rid of the cantenary wires on its campus I think. I also thought in a previous story on this site NJ Transit people said they want to get rid of the overhead wires for the train because of the campus issue.

  5. Or don’t build at all. Shows how hard these liberals want to replace cars with trains regardless of the impracticality and the many cost overruns. The whole thing reeks of the haughtiness of these types. These are the exact same people that keep pulling the lever for the left, listen to NPR, & unfortunately, keep NJ blue which is bad for the rest of NJ’s average citizenry trying to make ends meet.

  6. Clearly, you don’t live here or read the full story Juan. There is a train already in existence and this option is a way to deploy new cars in a cost-effective manner. Why does everything have to be liberals vs. conservatives? Give me a break.

  7. The stupid behavior of an electrocuted student 20 years ago should not be driving the University’s policy of removing catenary. The other issue is NJT does not have any replacement policy for their current 47 year old cars. Both entities want to run buses, which passengers do not want.

  8. I thought that today’s “conservatives” were all about letting people make their own choices. Building roads, roads, and more roads seems to be forcing everyone to drive whether they want to or not. How can someone choose a train if it doesn’t exist?

    Nothing like the three cheers of HIP, HIP, HYPOCRISY.

  9. The University moved the Dinky further from town for its new Arts and Transit neighborhood, so yes – with their very deep pockets ($26.6 billion at last count), they should absolutely look to electrifying Tiger Transit as well as working with N.J. Transit and helping to maintain an electric Dinky service for the campus and the town.

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