Shortly after the switch, which can be slow
sometimes we come to our next station.
Avenel station appears, with two short, high side
platforms. This station was saved after an attempt to close it was made by
NJ Transit, due to the cost of ADA elevators. The community objected,
suggesting ramps could be used for the new high platforms, which replaced
low platforms. The station has two tracks and is served by only a handful of
trains per day and none on weekends.
Shortly after Avenel comes Woodbridge, with
an island platform between two tracks. There is a station house at the north
end of the station, which is on an embankment and crosses over Main St. on
the south side.
Continuing westward the line descends to near grade level
embankment and we cross under the Garden State Parkway's Driscoll Bridge and
the US 9 Bridge on the north side of Raritan Bay.
Next is Perth Amboy
station, located in an open cut in the middle of the city of Perth
Amboy. The Perth Amboy station has two low 8 inch platforms and a glass-enclosed
crossover with the station house on the south side. There is also a north
side station currently closed for renovations. This can be a fairly busy
station at times, and it can be tight boarding a train here, especially
since only the end doors open.
We slowly cross the Raritan River on a low bridge with no
side rails, giving the impression that you are on a boat, with an
unobstructed scenic view of Staten Island to the northeast. Shortly after
crossing the river we arrive at South Amboy station, with a
view of the bay to the north. South Amboy has a low 0 inch platform on the New York
bound side, and no platform on the Bay Head bound side - instead there are
just some signs indicating a station and a crossover to the station house
and the northbound platform. New York bound trains use a center track, and
passengers must cross the outer track closest to the platform to board the
train. Some trains known as "Corridor/Coast Line Trains" terminate here.
a new high island platform is being built to comply with ADA requirements.
The tracks were moved to make room for the high platform under construction
as of 1/20/09
There is a fairly large gap between South Amboy and our
next station, Aberdeen-Matawan. The scenery begins to change
from swamp to water, and then finally we cross Main St. (Matawan) at grade.
We pass through the old Matawan station, which has two low side platforms
and an old station house visible. This station is no longer open
immediately after passing through the old station, we cross Atlantic Avenue
at grade and arrive at our next station, Aberdeen-Matawan, which used to be
known as just Aberdeen. Aberdeen-Matawan is a very busy station! It is
located at grade and has two high wall platforms, with canopies over the
north (New York-bound) side of each. There is a fairly large station house
on the north side of the northbound platform, which houses a waiting room, a
ticket window, and a medium-sized bagel shop, which does wonderful business
every day. The platforms at Aberdeen-Matawan station are longer than most
other stations along the line. There is a large parking lot on the north
side of the tracks and a smaller one on the south side. All trains stop at
Aberdeen-Matawan. The old low, 8 inch platforms are to the east of the high
Next up is Hazlet station, which has
two high side platforms. There is a canopy on the Bay Head bound platform
and four or five bus shelters on the New York bound platform.
Continuing east, there is a moderately large gap between
Hazlet and our next station, Middletown. This nice station has
two new high platforms with wrought iron animal sculptures featuring a
rooster, fox, birds on a branch, horse and a deer in the platform railings.
The station varies from embankment to near grade. A crossover is at the west
end of the station. Ythe old low 8 inch platforms were to the east.
We cross the Navesink River on a long bridge and
immediately arrive at the Red Bank station, which is located
in the heart of Red Bank between Oakland and Chestnut Sts. at grade. Red
Bank has two high platforms and a very nice station house. There is
a canopy on the New York bound platform and bus shelters on the Bay Head
bound platform. A short maintenance of way yard is west of the station on
both sides. The old 8 inch low platforms are under the high platforms.
Artwork is entitled "red Bank a View in Time" and is frosted glass on
Little Silver closely follows Red Bank and is at
grade with two low 0 inch side platforms. Little Silver station is swarming with
commuters during the day. A new station house is currently in the process of
being built to replace the old 100 year old station house.
Monmouth Park is next and serves the racetrack
with the same name right down the street. Monmouth Park has one low platform
on a single tracked siding, and is used only during race season by NJ
Transit's special Pony Express trains (operating only on race days). I've
heard that this station can be VERY busy before and after races.
Just after Monmouth Park, we cross Branchport Creek and
enter the city of Long Branch, Monmouth County's largest city. We cross
Chelsea Av. and then curve to the south, stopping at Long Branch,
the last station in electrified territory. This station has a high island
platform and a small station house on the platform. While both tracks have
Catenary, normal operations have electric trains terminating on the
westbound tracks and diesels from Bay Head on the eastbound track. The
platform has three heated indoor waiting areas along with a crossunder to
parking and street. The ticket office is in the middle one of the three
waiting areas. Passengers board a diesel train and then continue their
Next up is Elberon, also in the City of
Long Branch on the border with the town of Deal, and has two high side
platforms. A nice brick and stone station house is on the south side. The
station house features a diamond pattern in the mullions of the upper window
sashes. This station had old low platforms at the East End.
Allenhurst follows with two low 8 inch side platforms.
This station is at grade on Corlies Av., Allenhurst's Main
Street which runs east to west. This is an attractive station in a quiet little town, with a nice
brick station house on the south side.
We pass the old station house of the former North
Asbury Park station and pass through the ever-changing city of Asbury
Park, a formerly thriving shore resort having fallen on bad times. It had
two low 0 inch side platforms
Eventually we pull into Asbury Park
station, at grade level on Route 71 at the corner of Cookman Avenue, . Asbury Park
station has high side platforms and a small parking lot on the east side of
the station. The current modern station house is a nice tall building with a
two-story lobby. The old low platforms are to the east of the current
station and were a mix of 8 inch and 0 inch. It would take about 15 minutes to walk to the beach and the Stone
Pony nightclub from the station.
Bradley Beach shortly follows, with two low
0 inch side
platforms at grade level, and a station house on the south side.
A disused station, Avon-by-the-Sea, comes and goes just
before the train crosses the Shark River and pulls into
station. Belmar is one of the most popular cities along the Jersey Shore and
has a rather crowded train station, which is located well away from the
beach, which is about seven city blocks to the east and requires a healthy
walk. Belmar station has two low 8 inch side platforms featuring brick pavers and a
quaint wood with brick station house on the south side. Many people take the
train from New York City to Belmar in the summer for a weekend beach
Spring Lake, on Warren Avenue in Spring Lake
Heights, is next, also with two low 8 inch side platforms. A closed station house
is on the south side. The station house is a two-story brick building with
three gables and a train weather vane on top of a center cupola. This is a
very nice station!
We cross Wreck Pond and the old Sea Girt station.
We arrive at Manasquan, which looks more like a bus
stop than a train station. There’s no platform (negative platform) on the New York bound side
and what you'd hardly call a platform on the Bay Head bound side- it's more
of a patio overflowing with gravel than a platform also a negative platform). The New York Bound side
just has gravel on the side of the tracks and a sign reading, ``Manasquan
station.'' There is a bus shelter on the west platform.
We pass the old Brielle station and then cross the
Manasquan River, entering Ocean County.
Our next stop is Point
Pleasant Beach, which serves the famous boardwalk town
mistakenly referred to by many as just Point Pleasant. In an interesting use
of resources, the east ends of the high platforms were built on top of the
old 8 inch low platform. The west side of the high platforms ramp down to the low
platforms to the parking area.
Next is Bay Head, a minute's ride from
Point Pleasant Beach and about 45 minutes' journey from Long Branch. The
North Jersey Coast Line yards are in Bay Head, and the station doesn't
really need to be there. There is very, very short low 8 inch platform on the
track, with a medium sized wooden bus shelter. It is very well maintained
since it is adopted by a local business. The Bay Head station has very low
ridership, because many people who live this far from New York City don't
commute two-plus hours to work each way every day. The north track, used for
arrivals has a 0 inch platform due to the grade crossing. Evidence suggests
this station once had more tracks- possibly four!