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Pennsylvania Station (Newark)

The Once & Future Newark – Clement Alexaander Price


Puritan beginnings of the city along the Passaic River, Penn Station

1935 photo of Market Street bridge

Newark, New Jersey Penn Station is a major transportation hub in New Jersey.   Located at Raymond Plaza, between Market Street and Raymond Boulevard, it is served by the Newark Light RailNew Jersey Transit commuter rail, Amtrak long distance trains, the PATH rapid transit system to Manhattan, and local, regional and national bus services (NJ Transit, Greyhound, and other private operators).


Newark Pennsylvania Station interior

Designed by the renowned architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, the station is a mixture of Art Deco and Neo-Classical. The interior of the main waiting room has medallions illustrating the history of transportation, from wagons to steamships to cars and airplanes. The current building was dedicated on March 23, 1935; the first regular train to use it was a New York–Philadelphia express at 10:17 on March 24.  The new station was built alongside to the northwest of the old station, which was then demolished and replaced by the southeast half of the present station, completed in 1937. Except for the separate, underground Newark Light Rail station, tracks are elevated above street level.

It was built to be one of the centerpieces of the former Pennsylvania Railroad‘s (PRR’s) train network, and to become a transfer point to the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (now PATH), which was partially funded by the PRR, for travel to lower Manhattan. At the time, PRR operated 232 weekday trains (both directions) between Newark and New York Penn Station; after 1937, the 10-mile trip took an average of 16 minutes.

The station, the adjacent 230-foot Dock Bridge over the Passaic River (the longest three-track railway lift span in existence), the Newark City Subway extension and the realignment of the H&M cost $42 million, borne almost evenly by the PRR and the City of Newark. PRR and H&M were moved to the station on June 20, 1937, and the nearby Manhattan Transfer station and H&M Park Place and original Harrison stations were closed.

Newark Penn Station was extensively renovated in 2007, with restoration of the facade and historic interior materials (e.g., plaster ceilings, marble and limestone, windows, lighting fixtures), and train platform and equipment improvements.

Current operations

Newark Penn Station is frequented by the intercity Northeast CorridorAmtrak service, but most of its passengers are commuters. Three New Jersey Transit commuter rail lines converge here — the Northeast Corridor Line, which continues into New York; the North Jersey Coast Line, which continues to New York or Hoboken; and the Raritan Valley Line, which terminates here with one morning train continuing to Hoboken.

It is the west end of the Newark – World Trade Center line of the PATH, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

On the lower level is the south end of the Newark Light Rail to Newark Broad Street Station and downtown Newark.

As of April 3, 2011 the public timetables showed 188 weekday trains westward from Newark: 106 NJ Transit from New York Penn, 5 NJ Transit from Hoboken, 26 originating NJ Transit to the CNJ main line to Raritan/High Bridge, and 51 Amtrak (plus the triweekly Cardinal).

Newark Penn Station carries the IATA airport code of ZRP.

Tracks and platforms

Tracks at Newark Penn Station

Newark Penn has eight tracks (not including Newark Light Rail). Seven are on one level: PATH trains from Manhattan arrive on an upper-level track with a platform on the west side.

  • Track A is less used and has a side platform, usually for Raritan Valley Line arrivals.
  • Track 1 is normally for New Jersey Transit trains to New York Penn Station and is served by an island platform shared with Track M.
  • Track M is for departing PATH trains to World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.
  • Track 2 is typically for Amtrak and some New Jersey Transit trains to New York, also during the PM rush for westbound North Jersey Coast Line express trains. It has an island platform that is shared with the PATH departure track.
  • Track 3 is usually for southbound Amtrak trains, and westbound New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line express trains in the PM rush hour. It has an island platform shared with:
  • Track 4 is for westbound New Jersey Transit trains via Rahway.
  • Track 5 is usually for westbound Raritan Valley Line trains. It has a side platform.
  • Track H is upper level, for PATH arrivals. It has stairs to Track 2, ramps to Tracks 3 and 4, and a separate stairway to Track 5.

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