Borough gets Amtrak permission to re-paint Main Street train trestle

Nov. 03, 2015: Metuchen received approval from Amtrak to re-paint the train trestle that runs above Main Street, a victory for the grassroots campaign led by resident Nora Pagel.

Borough Administrator Jennifer Maier announced at the council meeting Monday Amtrak gave its approval for the borough to re-paint the trestle. The approval is only for the Main Street overpass and not for any other location, like the overpass on Lake Avenue.

Councilman Jay Muldoon, who worked with the grassroots group that included Pagel, Tyreen Reuter and Linda Vonderschmidt-La Stella, said there is still a long way to go to get the trestle re-painted.

“There’s a lot to do to make this a reality,” Muldoon said at the council meeting. This includes forming a more official committee to work on the project and figuring out how to fund it, he said.

Pagel made a presentation before Council in January on re-painting the trestle, which she had researched for two years, she said at the time. She researched other towns that had done similar projects and worked with Amtrak to figure out how to get permission for the project. “I feel this project would be amazing for the town, it would uplift the downtown,” she said in January.

The project could include lead removal, she said. It’s not clear if the borough will look for sponsors as part of the re-painting, or even what colors will be used. One resident at Monday’s meeting, Michael Geschlecht, suggested using Metuchen’s colors of blue and white. The white in Metuchen’s colors was a special paint invented by a chemist in Metuchen, he said.

The white, “is actually the brightest color white on the planet earth … the blue that’s used … is bright nautical blue, meant to be seen from far away,” Geschlecht said.

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