Essex Street (NJT station)
Essex Street Station in December of 2010. The former 1860 station depot platform is visible on the right side.
|Address||160 Essex Street @ Railroad Avenue and John Street
Hackensack, New Jersey
|Connections||NJT Bus: 76, 712, and 780|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Tracks||1 (formerly 2)|
|Parking||236 spaces (in 2 lots)|
|Bicycle facilities||Lockers available|
|Station code||769 (Erie Railroad)|
|Owned by||New Jersey Transit|
|Passengers (2012)||327 (average weekday)|
Essex Street, known as Hackensack during the Erie Railroad era, is a New Jersey Transit rail station on the Pascack Valley Line. The station is one of two rail stations in Hackensack, New Jersey, and is located at Essex Street, three blocks from Polifly Road. The Anderson Street station is also located in Hackensack. This line runs to Hoboken Terminal with connections via the Secaucus Junction transfer station to New Jersey Transit one-stop service to New York Penn Station and to other NJ Transit rail service. The Pascack Valley line services this station seven days a week.
The first station house was built in 1860 by the Hackensack and New York Railroad on a track extension from Passaic Street in Hackensack. The station was turned over to the Erie Railroad in 1896, serving as a partial headquarters before being moved to Hillsdale and New Jersey Transit in 1983. The station was once the southernmost of four stations in Hackensack, which included stations at Anderson Street, Fairmount Avenue, and Central Avenue.
Layout and service
|■||No service (siding)|
|1||■Pascack Valley Line||toward Spring Valley (Anderson Street)|
|■Pascack Valley Line||toward Hoboken (Teterboro)|
Essex Street Station is located at the intersection of Essex Street, Railroad Avenue and John Street in the city of Hackensack. The station has a lone platform on the southbound side for the one track heading through the station. There are two parking lots on either side of the station, with a large 186-space station on Essex Street behind the platform maintained by Park America. This lot has six handicap-accessible spaces and are free on evening, weekends and nights. The second lot, on the opposite side of the station, contains fifty spaces, also is maintained by Park America. However, this lot only has permit parking and contains no handicap-accessible spaces. The station also has bicycle lockers and one ticket vending machine (TVM) for commuter use. The station is also served by several New Jersey Transit buses: the 76, 144, 162, 164, 165, 178, 712, 772 and 780. The station is 14 minutes from Secaucus Junction, 24 minutes from Hoboken Terminal and is 39 minutes from Spring Valley. All trains along the Pascack Valley Line serve this station.
Hackensack and New York Railroad
The original alignment of the Essex Street station dates back to the chartering of the Hackensack and New York Railroad in 1856 by David P. Patterson and other investors. Their intent in creating the rail line was to help maintain a steam-powered train line in the Pascack Valley and have future ambitions to build the system northward. Construction on the new 21-mile (34 km) long line began in 1866, with trains heading from New York City to the Passaic Street station in Hackensack. Although Hackensack was not a large hub, there were several rail lines serving the city, including the New Jersey Midland Line (now the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad) with stops at Main Street (at the Mercer Street intersection) and at Prospect Avenue. During the 1860s, service was extended to north, terminating at the new Essex Street station. Although most Hackensack and New York trains ended at Passaic Street, service was extended northward on September 5, 1869, when that stop was abandoned in replacement for three brand new stops: Anderson Street, Fairmount Avenue and Central Avenue. By 1870, the tracks had been extended northward to Hillsdale, and public service began on the line on March 4 of that year. Trains terminated at Hillsdale with fare of only $0.75 (1870 USD), but just one year later, the service was extended northward to the community of Haverstraw, New York, and in 1896, the rail line was leased by the private company to the Erie Railroad.
Erie Railroad station and recent history
After the leasing of the New Jersey and New York Railroad to the Erie Railroad, the history of Essex Street station remained rather quiet, with minor changes to the station building and site occurring over the next sixty years. Although the Hillsdale Station served as headquarters for the New Jersey and New York Railroad, the headquarters was once located in the Essex Street Station. During the Erie Railroad days, this was one of four stations in Hackensack, alongside Anderson Street, Central Avenue and Fairmount Avenue, but the station was not signed as such. Instead, the Essex Street Station was known as Hackensack Station. The old building, which was designed in a more medieval style for the Erie, had a low concrete platform with long set of green pillars stretching to Essex Street. There was a small parking lot behind the station, which had a large entranceway and large bay window. The 1893 station depot burned in 1970. In 1976, the Erie Lackawanna was combined with several other railroads to create the Consolidated Rail Corporation, who continued maintenance of the New Jersey and New York Line for the next seven years, until the newly formed New Jersey Transit took over the station in 1983. The station was also renamed to Essex Street in accordance with the amount of stations. In 2002, during a long state-wide construction of park and rides, the Essex Street station received thirty-six new parking spots for Hackensack as part of the New Jersey Transit "Back To Basics" strategy.
- Yanosey, Robert J. (2006). Erie Railroad Facilities (In Color) 1. Scotch Plains, New Jersey: Morning Sun Books Inc. p. 95. ISBN 1-58248-183-0.
- "List of Station Names and Numbers". Jersey City, New Jersey: Erie Railroad. May 1, 1916. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Mrnarevic, Karen R. (December 10, 2009). "Hillsdale's history 'tied' to the railroad". Pascack Valley Community Life (Hillsdale, New Jersey: Community Life). Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- Hackensack, Three Centuries of Prosperity. Hackensack, New Jersey: Hackensack, New Jersey. 1993. p. 33.
- "Hackensack and New-York Railroad" (PDF). The New York Times (New York, New York: TimeWarner). September 9, 1869. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- Jones, Wilson E. (1996). The Pascack Valley Line: A History of the New Jersey and New York Railroad. Railroadians of America. ISBN 0-941652-14-9.
- Rider Guide Map. Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit. 1980.
- "NJ Transit Approves Park/Ride Expansion". Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit. November 13, 2002. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- NJT rail station information page for Essex Street
- DepartureVision real time train information for Essex Street
- Pascack Valley Line schedule
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