COMMUTER TRAINS

NEW YORK (NEW JERSEY)

New Jersey Transit

Present operator of commuter rail service.


Pennsylvania Railroad

Former railroad operated nearly all service west from Pennsylvania Station over the Northeast Corridor main line, and via the New York & Long Branch Railroad jointly owned with the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The New York & Long Branch Railroad is now known as the North Jersey Coast Line.

Prior to the 1910 completion of Pennsylvania Station and the tunnels under the Hudson River, Pennsylvania Railroad trains terminated at Exchange Place Station in Jersey City, with a ferry connection to and from New York City. Limited branch line service continued to Jersey City until 1961.

Diverging from the Northeast Corridor main line at New Brunswick (County interlocking) was the Millstone Branch. Service was discontinued in 1930, with replacement bus service operating a few years longer.


Central Railroad Of New Jersey

Former railroad until 1967, operated trains terminating at a station in Jersey City, with a ferry connection to and from New York City. Trains operated over the main line, now the Raritan Valley Line, and via the New York & Long Branch Railroad jointly owned with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joint ownership was south of Perth Amboy, that line is now known as the North Jersey Coast Line.

In 1967, most trains were moved to the Pennsylvania Railroad station in Newark. The diesel operated trains would not be permitted to use the tunnels into Pennsylvania Station in New York City. All New York & Long Branch Railroad trains would instead use the Pennsylvania Railroad routing north of Perth Amboy. Trains using the main line via Raritan would use the Lehigh Valley route between Newark and Aldene. Until 1978, a shuttle train operated between Cranford on the main line, and Bayonne which is south of Jersey City on the old main line.

Prior to 1967, some commuter service operated as far west as Allentown. In addition, the 1967 changes resulted in the discontinuance of service on the Newark & New York Branch (Communipaw-Newark), the Newark & Elizabeth Branch (Newark-Elizabethport), and the Perth Amboy & Elizabethport Branch (Elizabethport-Woodbridge). The latter branch was the connection to the New York & Long Branch Railroad. Prior to then, service was discontinued over several branches.

DISCONTINUED BRANCHES
Sound Shore Branch, Bayway-Chrome
cut back to Warners 1959, discontinued 1960
Freehold Branch, Matawan-Freehold, replaced with bus 1954, discontinued early 1960's
Seashore Branch, Matawan-Long Branch
cut back to Highlands 1945, cut back to Atlantic Highlands 1958, discontinued 1966
South Branch, Somerville-Flemington, discontinued mid 1960's
Southern Branch, Red Bank-Lakehurst, discontinued 1956


Reading Railroad

Until 1982, a service existed between Jersey City or Newark and Philadelphia, jointly operated with Central Railroad of New Jersey. The Reading Railroad line diverged from the Central Railroad of New Jersey line at Bound Brook. Until 1958, this route was also used by Baltimore & Ohio intercity passenger trains, between Jersey City and points west of Philadelphia. West Trenton is presently the terminal for SEPTA commuter trains to and from Philadelphia. Reading operated shuttle trains between West Trenton and Trenton until 1954, with replacement bus service continuing until 1963.


Lehigh Valley Railroad

Until 1960, operated commuter and intercity service from Pennsylvania Station, using Pennsylvania Railroad electric locomotives between there and Newark. Until the late 1940's, a dedicated commuter train operated during rush hours between New York and South Plainfield. West of Newark, trains used the line which since 1967 has been used by the former Central Railroad of New Jersey trains.


Erie Railroad

Former railroad operated trains terminating at a station in Jersey City, with a ferry connection to and from New York City. Trains operated over a Main Line and several branches.

In 1958, trains were moved to the Delaware Lackawanna & Western's Hoboken Terminal, using new connections north of the West End junction. West End is located west of the Hoboken Terminal, connected via a tunnel.

Service was eventually discontinued over several branches. Service remains on the Main Line, the Bergen County Line which is an alternate line which separates from and rejoins the Main Line, and the Pascack Valley Line.

DISCONTINUED BRANCHES
Greenwood Lake Branch, Mountain View-Wanaque Midvale, discontinued 1966
Newark Branch, NY&GL Jct.-Paterson Jct., discontinued 1966
Orange Branch, Forest Hill-West Orange, discontinued 1955
Caldwell Branch, Great Notch-Essex Falls, discontinued 1966
Northern Branch, Croxton-Nyack, discontinued 1966
New City Branch, Nanuet-New City, discontinued 1939
Piermont Branch, Sparkill-Suffern, discontinued around 1940

In 1963, after the Erie Lackawanna merger, portions of the Greenwood Lake Branch were incorporated into the former Lackawanna Boonton Line (see below).


Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad

Former railroad operated service from Hoboken Terminal, over 2 main routes and 2 branches. A ferry was traditionally used between Hoboken and New York City, although the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rapid transit line subsequently emerged as a more practical means of crossing the Hudson River.

The main routes included the Boonton Line, and the electrified Morris & Essex Line, with the Gladstone and the Montclair branches. In 2002, the Montclair branch was incorporated into part of the Boonton Line (see below).

Until 1966, commuter service on the Boonton Line extended as far west as Washington.


Erie Lackawanna Railroad

Formed in 1960 out of the merger of the two above railroads, both of which were using the Hoboken Terminal.

In 1963, three years after the Erie Lackawanna merger, two significant route restructurings occurred, involving segments from both former railroads. First, for many years the former Erie Main Line route through Passaic had been a source of complaints, with congestion and its forming a barrier within the city. So these trains were moved to the former Lackawanna Boonton Line, skirting the west side of Passaic, and using the former Erie Newark Branch to connect again with the main line north of Passaic. Second, the New Jersey Highway Department wished to acquire the Boonton Line right of way west of Paterson, for construction of Interstate Highway 80. So Boonton Line trains began using the former Erie Greenwood Lake Branch east of Mountain View.

In 2002, the Boonton Line was restructured again, when the line was connected with the Montclair Branch. Service was then discontinued on the former Greenwood Lake Branch east of Montclair.

In 2003, the Secaucus Junction station opened, enabling transfers between the former Erie trains and former Pennsylvania Railroad Northeast Corridor trains. The station is where the original Lackawanna Boonton Line, later the Erie Lackawanna Main Line, passes under the Northeast Corridor route. In preparation for the opening of the station, a new connection was constructed along the south side of the Hackensack River, between the Main Line and the Bergen County Line. This replaced the former Erie line which since 1958 had connected with the former Lackawanna trackage north of West End. This would enable all former Erie trains to stop at Secaucus Junction.

In addition, connections constructed in the 1990's east of Newark with Amtrak's former Pennsylvania Railroad Northeast Corridor route, now allow certain electric trains to operate underneath the Hudson River, serving Pennsylvania Station. The connections also allow certain former Central of New Jersey trains to serve Hoboken, in addition to Newark.


New York Susquehanna & Western Railway

Former railroad operated trains terminating at Erie Railroad station in Jersey City. An additional intermediate station opened in 1939 known as Susquehanna Transfer, with a bus connection serving New York City. After closure of Jersey City station, trains terminated at Susquehanna Transfer, until discontinuance of trains in 1966.


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