New Jersey Transit
By Peggy Darlington
Note: Although some trains continue to
Hackettstown ,electric service ends at Dover. To continue your
trip change to a diesel train (which came from Hoboken via the
New York Penn Station is discussed on
a separate page
officially called the "Frank Lautenberg Rail Station," a
312,000-square-foot station which opened for full service
December 15, 2003. This new station, visible from the New Jersey
Turnpike, functions as a transfer point between ten New Jersey
Transit rail lines, with emphasis on transfers to the
Northeast Corridor, allowing those
passengers from the Main,
Meadowlands, and Pascack Valley
lines easier access to New York City and points south. The
Northeast Corridor level of this station has two island
platforms and four tracks, with two additional bypass or
"express" tracks in the center. In October 2003, work was begun
on a $250 million interchange of the New Jersey Turnpike
designed especially to serve this rail station
The junction with the Northeast Corridor line, is known as
the "Midtown Direct" connection. This connection was a major
project aimed at unifying NJ Transit's heavy rail system into
one unified network. Originally named the Kearny Connection, it
was swiftly renamed to more properly indicate the function of
the connection for marketing purposes. The trains that use the
connection must be hauled by NJT's dual voltage ALP-44 and
ALP-46 locomotives, which can switch from 12,000 to 25,000 volts
on the fly. The rest of the Morris & Essex is served by electric
multiple unit and even diesel-hauled locomotive trains. Trains
on the Morris & Essex now have two choices of terminals: New
York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal
We leave the Northeast Corridor line, via a single track each
way which merges with a three-track main line paralleling
Interstate 280 on the north side and the Northeast Corridor line
to the south. We pass the closed Harrison station which had
three tracks and two wall platforms.
Crossing the Passaic River on a two-track drawbridge, we
spot the Newark Bears minor league baseball team.
Broad Street is
discussed on a separate page
follows, on a viaduct. There are three tracks, with a low-level
island platform serving the eastbound and center tracks and a
side platform serving westbound trains. The platforms have been
shortened and evidence of their former length is clearly visible
at the ends of the platforms. There are new mini high platforms
at the East end.
The next station Brick Church
is nearly identical,.
Next up is Orange,
featuring two side platforms alongside three tracks. The station
was moved from its original location further to the west. There
is an indoor waiting area on both platforms, and the main
station house is on the south side of the tracks. An extra exit
to the street is located at the east end of both platforms.
Highland Avenue follows, also two
low wall platforms and a center bypass track.
Mountain Station is next. The
platform arrangement is the same as Orange. A mission style
station house is located on both platforms. The east end of the
station is partially in an arched tunnel due to the street
South Orange is next, with a low
island serving the center and westbound track and a low side
platform serving eastbound trains. A mission style station house
is on both platforms. A sign proudly proclaims the station as
the "Home of Seton Hall University." There are mini high
platforms at the east end
is next. A low island serves the center and westbound track and
a low side platform serves the eastbound track. The main station
house serves eastbound trains and is a nice Tudor style
building. There is a crossunder and a mini-station house for
westbound trains. A maple leaf pattern is located on the walls
of the crossunder to the island platform. There are mini high
platforms. The line becomes two tracks and we continue our ride.
is next with two low wall platforms. The current station house
is on the south side. This is a modern building with marble
walls, lots of glass and a 45-degree angle glass skylight. An
old station house on the north side has been converted to a
private law office. Short Hills follows, with two
low side platforms. The north side had a station house, which is
now the home of the Short Hills Historical Society. Summit is
next, and features high platforms. An island serves the
eastbound and center track and a wall platform serves westbound
trains. This nice station is in a cut with concrete sidewalls.
There is a station house and crossover over the tracks and is
ADA compliant. This station serves as the terminal of some local
trains from Hoboken, as well as non-through service from the
Chatham is next. This station is on
an embankment and has two low wall platforms. Station houses are
on both platforms but the north side house is closed. Madison
follows, raised on a viaduct through town. There are two low
platforms with stone station houses on both platforms. The
eastbound side has an extra closed station house. Side rails of
the platforms are concrete, as are the canopies.
follows and is located at a grade crossing with two low
platforms. The station has a station house on each platform with
the north side being closed. A sign proclaims the station as
"Home of the College of Saint Elizabeth." The college can be
seen just to the north and east of the station. There are a few
more grade crossings immediately to the west of Convent Station.
Morristown is next and we return to
grade separation via embankment over the street. There are
closed station houses on both low wall platforms. There is a
crossunder as well as a ramp to the parking area to the south of
the eastbound platform.
is next, grade separated with two low wall platforms and mini
high platforms on the east end. An old station house to the west
of the station on the south side is now a model railroad club.
This station has a crossunder and a mini-high platform on the
follows, with one low side platform on the north side that is
very short. There is a grade crossing on both sides of the
station, and stopping trains will block the crossing. Not all
trains serve this little station.
Denville follows. This station has
two low side platforms with mini-high platforms on the east end.
Denville is also served by
Montclair-Boonton line trains which connect via a single
track line from the northeast. Those trains stop at a separate
high platform adjacent to that track.
after a local-stops ride of almost ninety minutes. Recently
rebuilt, Dover has two tracks and a high center island platform.
The station formerly had three tracks and a low platform on the
north side only. A grade crossing is west of the station, with
two tracks. Electric trains from Hoboken and New York must
terminate here; A storage yard for electric trains is to the
east of the station on the south side.