Northern Branch Corridor Project > Glossary
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Terms and acronyms that are commonly used in the Northern Branch Corridor Project and web site are provided below. This section will be expanded as the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process proceeds and project documents are posted on the site.

Agency's Preferred Alternative: The Agency's Preferred Alternative is the one that it believes would fulfill its statutory mission and responsibilities, giving consideration to economic, environmental, technical, and other factors. Even though the Agency's Preferred Alternative is identified, the EIS must objectively evaluate all the alternatives.

Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU): A self-propelled, diesel-powered passenger rail car. In 2002, the first DMU designed and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that meets the latest FRA standards to operate in mixed freight traffic was introduced by the Colorado Railcar Manufacturing company. The availability of the FRA-compliant DMU vehicle changed in December 2008 when Colorado Railcar declared bankruptcy. Although US Railcar, now American Railcar, has announced that it would resume production of the former Colorado Railcar DMU, the company has not yet started production. Although a different company is proposing to build DMU vehicles for a California project, the design is still being modified in an attempt to attain compliance with FRA safety and structural standards.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS): The draft version of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that documents the potential social, economic and environmental effects of a proposed project or action and alternatives to it. It is released to the public and agencies for review and comment.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): The report that is required by the National Environment Policy Act of 1969, which documents the potential social, economic, and environmental effects of a proposed project or action, and alternatives to it.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): The environmental document prepared following the close of the comment period for the Draft EIS (DEIS). The FEIS incorporates changes to the project analyses, and reflects pertinent agency and public comment on the DEIS. The FEIS, if not done previously, also identifies the alternative selected for the project.

Infrastructure: The underlying foundation or basic framework of a system.

Lead Federal Agency: The federal agency taking primary responsibility for preparing an environmental impact statement, as prescribed in 40CFR§1508.16.

Light Rail Transit (LRT): A self-propelled vehicle operated singly or in consists on predominantly reserved, but not necessarily grade-separated, rights-of-way. Compared to heavy (commuter) rail transit, LRT is characterized by smaller trains, shorter headways (time between trains on the same route), slower speeds, more frequent stops, and the possibility to operate in mixed traffic on surface streets. Light rail vehicles do not meet federal safety requirements to operate in mixed freight environments. Examples in New Jersey include the electric-powered Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) and Newark Light Rail and the diesel-powered River Line between Trenton and Camden.

Mitigation: Planning of project design and/or construction to avoid or overcome adverse impacts.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Legislation enacted in 1969 that established a national environmental policy requiring that any project using federal funding or requiring federal approval (including transportation projects) must examine the effects that the proposal and alternative choices would have on the environment before a federal decision is made.

Northern Branch: A lightly used freight rail line owned by CSX Transportation that runs through the Hudson and Bergen County communities of Tenafly, Englewood, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield, Fairview, North Bergen, Cresskill, Demarest, Closter, Norwood and Northvale.

Northern Branch Corridor: The area through which the Northern Branch rail line traverses. The Corridor is a densely settled suburban environment that has not been served by passenger rail since the 1960s.

Notice of Intent (NOI): A notice published in the Federal Register advising that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared, with a brief description of the proposed action and possible alternatives, and contact information for obtaining further information about the project and preparation of the DEIS.

Project Sponsor: The agency proposing to build or implement a proposed project or action.

Scoping: A step in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process that provides an opportunity for members of the general public, stakeholders, and others to comment on the purpose and need of a proposed project/action, the types of alternatives to be considered, and to provide input on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in the EIS.

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