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NLR Tablet

 

BY Peggy Darlington with assistance from David Pirmann

 

 

The Newark City Subway was, for the most part, constructed in the bed of the Morris Canal, which itself was built between Jersey City and Phillipsburg, NJ in the period 1825-1837. At its peak it was over 100 miles long and barges took five days to traverse its entire length. But, by the early 1900's, the railroads across New Jersey (specifically the Lackawanna and Jersey Central) signed the Morris Canal's death certificate and by 1920, the stagnant waters were a health hazard and the New Jersey state legislature pushed for the draining and filling of the canal bed.

In 1927, the Newark portion of the canal was authorized to become a right-of-way for streetcars, and construction began on this new subway on November 18, 1929. The downtown portion of the line was covered, creating a new street (Raymond Blvd.), while the outer portion was dredged out and overpasses were built at major cross streets and station locations. In 1934, rail was laid and the first streetcar traversed the tracks on October 3, 1934. The original southern terminal was at Warren Street; the extension to Pennsylvania Station was completed and opened June 20, 1937. The northern extension from Heller Parkway to Franklin was completed on November 22, 1940.

By 1935, a number of Newark streetcar routes had been diverted into the new subway. Street connections were built at various locations for streetcars to enter the subway. These connections are shown in the table below

City Subway Services

Route

Entered subway at

Subway service began

Subway/streetcar service ended

7-City Subway

Subway only

Initial segment, 10/3/1934; to Penn Sta., 6/20/1937

n/a

13-Broad St.

Cedar St. ramp

Continued thru Cedar St. subway from PSCT Terminal, 6/20/1937

Replaced by trolley bus and cut back to PSCT Terminal, 7/18/1937; replaced by bus and still operated by New Jersey Transit as route #13-Broad St. between Newark and Irvington

21-Orange via Orange St.

Orange St.

5/26/1935, to Penn Sta. 6/20/1937

3/1/1951 (see below; current #21 bus uses Market St./W. Market St.)

21-Orange via Market St.

Washington/Warren ramp

5/26/1935, to Penn Sta. 6/20/1937

Replaced by trolley bus 8/1/1937; replaced by bus and still operated by New Jersey Transit   #21-Main Street between Newark and West Orange

23-Central Ave.

Norfolk ramp

Diverted from PSCT Terminal to City Subway via Norfolk ramp; 6/20/1937

12/14/1947

27-Mt. Prospect

Cedar St. ramp

Continued thru Cedar St. subway from PSCT Terminal, 6/20/1937

Replaced by trolley bus and cut back to PSCT Terminal, 12/29/1937; replaced by bus and still operated by New Jersey Transit as route #27-Mt. Prospect between Irvington and Clifton

29-Bloomfield

Bloomfield ramp

5/26/1935, to Penn Sta. 6/20/1937

Bus-substituted 3/30/1952; still operated by New Jersey Transit as route #29-Bloomfield Ave. between Newark and West Caldwell/Parsippany via Bloomfield

43-Jersey City Cedar St. ramp Began operating to PSCT Terminal 1/3/1927; presumably extended to City Subway 6/20/1937 Bus-substituted 5/1/1938; still operated by New Jersey Transit as route #43-Jersey City between Newark and Jersey City

 

The Newark Light Rail runs via two routes during weekdays and a combined route on weekends.

The two routes are

weekend service runs from Penn Station to Grove Street, Back to Penn Station, to Broad Street Station , back to Penn Station and then repeats.

Photo 1 Courtesy of David Pirmann, Photo 2 Courtesy of Rich Panse

 

 

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 Last revised 11/22/2011

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