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Northeast Corridor Bullet

 

 

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Northeast Corridor

By Peggy Darlington

Special thanks to members of the PRR Group on DSOP Lists (Some abandoned station information)

New  York   Pennsylvania Station

 

New York Penn Station is discussed on its own page

 

Secaucus Junction

 Exiting the tunnel into New Jersey, the Northeast Corridor line is two tracks between the portals and the new Secaucus Junction station 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, Bergen, Meadowlands, and Pascack Valley lines easier access to New York City and points south. The Northeast Corridor level of this station has one island platform, two wall platforms and four tracks. Based on track numbers (A, B, 2 and 3 for the NECL Level and E, F, G, H for the lower level) it appears that room is available for tracks C,D,1 and 4. There is  a $250 million interchange of the New Jersey Turnpike, Exit 15X,  designed especially to serve this rail station." The Portal bridge replacement project and ARC Tunnel will add additional tracks and a loop track connecting the lower level and upper level  tracks to this station's south end for future added service to New York.

Leaving the Secaucus Transfer station, the Northeast Corridor, still two tracks, crosses Hackensack River drawbridge (site of a derailment in the mid 1990s), and speed through the New Jersey Transit "Midtown Direct" and "Waterfront Connection" junctions (which connect the east-west Morris & Essex lines of New Jersey Transit to the Northeast Corridor).

 

Manhattan Transfer

We pass through the remnants of  Manhattan Transfer which was used to transfer between trains for Jersey City (Exchange Place Street level  commuter rail Station) and electric trains to NY .

The Corridor line expands first to three tracks and then to four as we pass through the Harrison station of PATH.

 

Newark Penn Station

After Harrison, we cross the "Dock" drawbridge over the Passaic River which is actually two bridges  The south bridge serves track 1 of NJT and on the lower level and both PATH tracks on the upper level (Track A merged with track 1 prior to crossing the bridge). The north bridge serves tracks 2-4 of NJT. Track 5 branches off after the bridge is crossed and we immediately enter Newark Penn Station, which is discussed on a separate page.

Departing southbound, the PATH tracks cross overhead and lead into a small yard on the west side.

 

South Street

Following the PATH yard is evidence of the abandoned Newark-South Street station, which featured low brick platforms and ornamental iron railings. Shortly past there, we pass Hunter tower and bid goodbye to the New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley line.

 

Newark Liberty International Airport

The next station is the Newark Liberty International Airport station. This station connects to the Port Authority's AirTrain Newark airport monorail extension serving Newark Liberty International Airport. The station consists of two island platforms, each 1,050 feet long and 32 feet wide, and an enclosed 280-foot-long elevated crossover concourse. This pedestrian concourse links the NEC platforms with enclosed waiting areas and the monorail platform. The facility is climate controlled and is equipped with public restrooms. Four tracks serve the station; two additional tracks serve as express tracks, bypassing the station. Both New Jersey Transit trains and Amtrak's conventional Amfleet-equipped trains stop at this station. From here to Trenton, all stations have two side platforms unless stated. The line reverts to four tracks.

 

North Elizabeth

North Elizabeth is not served by most trains, and is very lightly used. There is a low platform on the north end of the station and a station house at street level on the east side of the tracks (northbound direction). This station is elevated at the New York end and in an open cut at the Trenton end due to street topography.

 

Elizabeth

 Shortly after, we arrive at Elizabeth station, also known as "Broad Street Elizabeth". This station is on a viaduct and has a platform area waiting room on the northbound platform. The station has extended low platforms on the south end. Below the station is the former Central Railroad of New Jersey right of way and its abandoned Elizabeth station.

 

South Elizabeth

Departing Elizabeth, we pass Elmora tower and the closed South Elizabeth Station which had low platforms and the Corridor becomes six tracks.

 

Linden

The next station is at Linden, with two high side platforms with long canopies on an embankment.

 

North Rahway

We pass through the closed North Rahway  (Scott Avenue) station which was closed in the fall of 1993. It had two asphalt low platforms and no stationhouse. Officially it was closed to speed service, but sources advised that the real reason it was closed was due to a dispute between NJT, Rahway and a local  manufacturer as to how much each would pay.

 

Rahway

Rahway is next and is the last station before the New Jersey Transit North Jersey Coast line service departs the Corridor. Rahway is a very busy station and a side platform for northbound trains and an island platform for Trenton/Bay Head trains. Both platforms have indoor waiting areas. On the New York bound side, there is an information desk and mini police precinct. The platforms are forty steps up from the street, and the stairway enclosures have glass block side walls with medium blue, beige, and rose colored stripes. This station was rededicated in March, 1998 after two years of heavy renovations performed while the station was still open. Platforms were completely removed and rebuilt in stages to allow continued train service. There is a station building below the track station.

After departing Rahway and passing the crossunder for the North Jersey Coast line we come to an abandoned station

 

Colonia

Had four tracks and two low side platforms. It was closed when NJT started serving Metropark

 

Iselin

Had four tracks and two low side platforms. It was closed when NJT started serving Metropark

 

Metropark

 Metropark has  4 tracks, 2 side platforms. Metropark is one of NJ Transit's most utilized stations. The station is on an embankment, with Wood Av. to the south and the Garden State Parkway to the north. A center exit leads from the northbound platform to an elevator and stairs, which lead to a small station house at ground level, which has benches, a ticket booth, and a small Dunkin' Donuts inside. A crossunder is from the southbound track, and comes up directly into the station house. Just across the street from the station house, there are  large 5 and  7 story parking garages with long-term and hourly spots. A train to bus connection is available here as well as a connection to Amtrak. The station opened in 1971 as an Amtrak only station and was soon joined in service by NJT's predecessors. A renovation  expanded the station from 850 foot platforms to  1050 feet Eastbound and 1135 feet westbound and will for the first time have a pedestrian connection to NJ route 27 ( which is on the other side of the Westbound platform).

 

Metuchen

Metuchen is next and features the old station building on the northbound side and a closed platform area waiting room on the southbound side. This station is rather lightly used and is not far from Metropark.

 

Edison

Edison (Stelton) is next, also on embankment as at Metuchen, and has been totally rebuilt with a station building on the northbound side. Some former Conrail freight tracks are on the far west side of the southbound platform. The station house features a Dunkin' Donuts shop.

 

New Brunswick

We cross the Raritan River on a massive concrete arch bridge and arrive at New Brunswick. This station is on a viaduct through the city and has enclosed platform waiting rooms on both platforms. The main station building is two levels, on the northbound side. A view of the many office buildings and Rutgers University campus buildings is available from the platforms.

 

Jersey Avenue

We pass County tower and a small storage yard on the north side and arrive at Jersey Avenue, a very unusual station. A spur track diverges from the southbound track just north of the station. The low platforms are in between the main line and the spur. In between the platforms is a large parking lot. Trains either terminate or originate on the spur track, or stop to drop off passengers on the main line low platform. Through trains from the south to New York do not stop here at all. There is no station building here, the platforms have simple bus shelters. 

 

Adams

Adams, (It is located at the Amtrak Maintenance of Way Facility), no further information is available

 

Deans

Deans, No further in formation available

 

Monmouth Junction

Monmouth Junction, (A careful check of the area will reveal a concrete bus shelter on the New York Bound Track

 

Plainsboro

Plainsboro. No further information is available

 

Princeton Junction

at West Windsor

Princeton Junction at West Windsor (Formerly Princeton Junction)  is next. The station has crossunders to the station building on the northbound side. Amtrak also stops here, as does the shuttle to Princeton, which departs from a track to the west of the Trenton-bound platform. The shuttle is affectionately known as the Dinky, since it is typically operated as a single car. The shuttle is also sometimes referred to the PJ&B, for Princeton Junction and Back.

 

Princeton

Princeton station, a short hop by shuttle, is right in the middle of Princeton University's campus, and features stone station buildings (former passenger and freight house) which fit in well with the surrounding campus. Neither building provides a transit-related function any longer. The station has a single track and a short high-level platform with ticket vending machines. The bumper block only allows two cars into the station however the platform extends approximately two car lengths beyond the bumper block. Another closed station follows 

 

Lawrence

-Lawrence-no further information is available

 

Hamilton

A new, "multi-modal" station is next, Hamilton. The station is built just south of the American Standard plant outside of Trenton. This station has a crossover to the station building on the northbound platform as well as a bus depot for local bus service by NJT's Mercer County Routes.

 

Trenton

 Trenton  has the station building over the tracks and offers a train spotter’s dream view of trains from NJT, SEPTA and Amtrak. The waiting room is on the north side and there is also an exit on the south side. The track level is located in an open cut, and has island platforms for tracks 4 and 5 and tracks 1 and 2, and a low platform for track 3. There are two center bypass tracks used by Amtrak trains not stopping in Trenton and al storage track used to lay up SEPTA trains to the north of track 5(the second storage track has been removed) In order from north to south, the layout is as follows: one storage track, 5-High island  platform-4, westbound bypass, eastbound bypass, 1-High island platform-2, 3-Low side platform with bus shelter. An unusual feature at Trenton is the dual use of track 5. Trains from both SEPTA and NJT will platform at the same time, with 1-2 car lengths between the front of the NJT train and the rear of the SEPTA train. The main Trenton platforms can hold approximately 18-20 cars! Transfer can be made here to the SEPTA Regional Rail to Philadelphia usually on track 5and the River Line to Camden upstairs and across the street

 

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 Last revised 11/21/2011

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