North Jersey Coast Line

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  North Jersey Coast Line
New Jersey Transit ALP-46 4626 leads Train 3270 into Middletown Station.jpg
ALP-46 #4626 pulls train #3270, an eight-car multilevel train, into the Middletown station.
Type Commuter rail line
System New Jersey Transit
Locale New Jersey
Termini New York Penn Station
(some peak service from Hoboken Terminal)
Bay Head
Stations 28
Daily ridership 17,862[1]
Owner Amtrak
(New York to Rahway Junction)
New Jersey Transit
(all other trackage)
Operator(s) New Jersey Transit
Rolling stock ALP-45DP locomotives
ALP-46 locomotives
F40PH-2CAT locomotives
GP40FH-2/GP40PH-2B locomotives
Alstom PL42AC
Arrow III
Comet series
Bombardier Multilevel coaches
Track length 104.6 km (65 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 11kV 25Hz AC
25 kV 60 Hz AC
Route map
Northeast Corridor/LIRR
Sunnyside Yard
East River Tunnels
East River
Penn Station New YorkAmtrak MTA NYC logo.svg
Hudson R., N.Y./N.J. border
North River Tunnels
Hoboken TerminalMTA NYC logo.svg Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Hoboken Yard
Bergen Tunnels
Secaucus JunctionMTA NYC logo.svg
Meadows Maintenance Complex
Hackensack River
Waterfront Connection
Kearny Connection
New Jersey Turnpike
Passaic River
Newark Penn StationAmtrak Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Newark South Street
Raritan Valley Line diverges
Lehigh Line
Interstate 78
Newark AirportAmtrak
AirTrain Newark
North Elizabeth
Broad St. Elizabeth
South Elizabeth
Staten Island Railway
CSAO Linden Industrial Track
North Rahway
Diverging from Northeast Corridor
Avenelweekdays only
CSAO Port Reading Line
New Jersey Turnpike
CSAO Chemical Coast Line
NJ 440
CSAO Amboy Running Track
Perth Amboy
Raritan River
CSAO Amboy Secondary
South Amboy
NJ 35
Morgan Creek
Laurence Harbor
Garden State Parkway
Matawan Creek
25 kV 60 Hz electrification starts
Garden State Parkway
NWS Earle Track
Navesink River
Red Bank
CSAO Southern Secondary
NJ 35
Little Silver
Parkers Creek
Oceanport Creek
Monmouth Parkseasonal service
Branchport Creek
NJ 36
Long Branch
Long Branch Yard
end of electrification
NJ 71
Deal Lake
North Asbury Park
Asbury Park
NJ 33
Bradley Beach
Shark River
Spring Lake
Sea Girt
Manasquan River
Point Pleasant Beach
NJ 35
Bay Head
Bay Head Yard

The North Jersey Coast Line is a New Jersey Transit commuter rail service between New York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal and Bay Head, New Jersey, electrified as far as Long Branch. On rail system maps it is colored light blue, and its symbol is a sailboat. It is based on what was once the New York & Long Branch Railroad which was co-owned by the Central of New Jersey and the Pennsylvania Railroad.[2]

Most trains operate between New York Penn Station and Long Branch with frequent rush-hour service and hourly local off-peak service. Diesel shuttle trains between Long Branch and Bay Head meet these electric trains. Hourly New York to Long Branch service operates on weekends, with bi-hourly diesel shuttle service (with some extra trains) between Long Branch and Bay Head. Full hourly service operates during the peak summer season.

During weekdays, five round trip diesel trains have run from Bay Head to Hoboken Terminal using the Waterfront Connection since September 9, 1991. Passengers can reach New York via the Northeast Corridor Line at Newark, or PATH at Newark or Hoboken.

Some electric trains terminate at South Amboy or Aberdeen-Matawan and make all stops from New York Penn Station, providing local service for the Northeast Corridor stops of Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, and North Elizabeth during rush hours.


The line is double track except for the bridge over the Manasquan River at Brielle. The line has cab signals and wayside block signals; the line from Rahway to Long Branch is signaled for operation in either direction on both tracks (NORAC Rule 261). Twelve interlockings facilitate flexibility in operation between the two tracks; these and other interlockings control movements to or from freight lines such as the Chemical Coast Secondary, the Perth Amboy Secondary, and the Monmouth Secondary, as well as Long Branch Yard.

Passenger yards are at Long Branch and Bay Head. Long Branch Yard is fully electrified, and mostly interlocked. Bay Head contains a large balloon (circular looping) track where entire trains can reverse direction without backing up or uncoupling the locomotive, and obviating the need for a turntable. It remains in service, even though push-pull operation has eliminated the need for turning of trains. Bay Head Yard has no interlocking; all switches are hand-operated. A yard and sidings formerly existed at South Amboy, dating back to when electrification ended there, but have been removed; trains terminating at South Amboy can be bypassed by using the other track, as the new station has a single island platform.

Movable bridges[edit]

The North Jersey Coast Line has five movable bridges of the twelve used by the NJT rail network, the most on any one line. River Draw is a swing bridge at Raritan Bay. Other draw spans cross the Cheesequake or Morgan Creek (bascule), Oceanport over the Shrewsbury River (swing, with non-movable catenary), Shark River (bascule) and Manasquan River (bascule). All these bridges are double-track spans, but the Manasquan bridge has been single-tracked since the mid-1970s. The line also crosses over several other waterways on fixed bridges, the longest of which is over the Navesink River at Red Bank.


The North Jersey Coast Line is electrified north (railroad east) of Long Branch.

Electrified operation between Rahway and South Amboy began about 1936; the catenary poles from the junction in Rahway to South Amboy are the Pennsylvania Railroad design used on their 1930s projects.

Electrification was extended to Matawan in 1982, with catenary installed in the early 1980s. This was originally 11 kV, increased to 12 kV in 1978 along with Amtrak's New York-Washington electrification, with insulators capable of supporting 25 kV.

Electrification at 12.5 kV 60 Hz was extended to Long Branch in 1988, with catenary installed in 1986–88. As on the 1982 extension the insulators can handle 25 kV. The catenary is self-adjusting (constant tensioning) with ambient temperature.

In 2002 the voltage from Matawan to Long Branch was changed from 12.5 kV to 25 kV. As a result the Arrow III passenger cars can no longer run between those two points, since those trains can not run on two different voltages on one trip (the transformer voltage taps must be manually changed from alongside the MU).

The line remains electrified at 12 kV 25 Hz AC north of Matawan. Three phase breaks segregate the different power sources, at the Morgan Creek Drawbridge, Laurel(Hazlet/Holmdel), and east of Bergen Place in Red Bank. As of January 2010, NJ Transit Customer Service says there are no plans to extend the electrification south of Long Branch.

NJCL Traction Infrastructure
Name Location Comments
South Amboy Substation 40°29′25″N 74°17′15″W / 40.49028°N 74.28750°W / 40.49028; -74.28750 (South Amboy Substation 48) PRR Sub Number 48; supplied from Amtrak 138 kV 25 Hz network
Morgan (Cheesequake Creek) Drawbridge 40°27′42″N 74°15′35″W / 40.461611°N 74.2598°W / 40.461611; -74.2598 (Morgan Draw Bridge Phase Break)
Matawan Substation 40°25′09″N 74°12′55″W / 40.4192°N 74.2154°W / 40.4192; -74.2154 (Matawan Substation)
Matawan Phase Break 40°25′05″N 74°12′36″W / 40.418°N 74.2100°W / 40.418; -74.2100 (Matawan Phase Break) Boundary between 12 kV, 25 Hz and 25 kV, 60 Hz
Laurel Avenue Phase Break 40°24′17″N 74°08′33″W / 40.4047°N 74.1425°W / 40.4047; -74.1425 (Laurel Avenue Phase Break)
Red Bank Substation 40°20′41″N 74°04′16″W / 40.3446°N 74.0712°W / 40.3446; -74.0712 (Red Bank Substation)
Bergen Place Phase Break 40°20′26″N 74°04′00″W / 40.3405°N 74.0667°W / 40.3405; -74.0667 (Bergen Place Phase Break)
Long Branch Substation 40°17′37″N 73°59′20″W / 40.2936°N 73.9888°W / 40.2936; -73.9888 (Long Branch Substation)

Commuter Clubs[edit]

The line is also home to the last remaining private commuter passenger Club in the United States. The Jersey Shore Commuters Club was established in 1933 under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Railroad.[3] Currently it has use of half of a Comet IIM car - car #5459. In 2004, the Club Car went through a custom overhaul and was furnished, with the Club's own money, to include reclining lounge chairs, spacious seating, at-seat fold down tables, and private conference tables. The Club also hosts various onboard activities to preserve its heritage. Club members enjoy guaranteed and spacious seating as part of their annual membership fee that the Club remits to New Jersey Transit as part of its lease agreement. Membership is "open" and on a "first come first served basis" to those willing to pay the membership fee and abide by the Club's bylaws. The Club end of the car is furnished similar to Amtrak's Amfleet and Horizon fleet of cars. The Club Car seats are actually former Amfleet Metroliner seats that the Club recently re-conditioned. The Club Car only runs during peak rush hour periods and is always run with the club end coupled to the locomotive when used.

Rolling stock[edit]

The Coast Line has among the most diverse selection of fleet in the NJT system.

  • Long Branch trains to and from New York use ALP-46 locomotives with Comet series or Multi-Level coaches.
  • Arrow III EMUs are occasionally seen on South Amboy and Aberdeen-Matawan locals. Arrow IIIs can not be used for service south of Aberdeen-Matawan since they are unable to change operating voltages automatically; a manual transformer tap-changer must be adjusted from alongside the MU.
  • All service south of Long Branch is diesel, generally utilizing Alstom PL42AC, F40PH-2CAT, or GP40PH-2B locomotives with a 4 to 6 car set of Comet series or Multi-Level coaches. Service between Hoboken and Bay Head use all diesel for direct service on some weekday trains. Usually, passengers are required to transfer at Long Branch for service to Bay Head.
  • In June 2014, NJ Transit added ALP-45DP locomotives to incorporate the "One Seat Ride" to and from Bay Head and Penn Station in New York. This service only ran through the summer and ended on September 1, 2014. NJT has proposed a possible year round "One Seat Ride", depending on ridership for the summer service. However, the ALP-45DP locomotives will remain in service indefinitely.

Hurricane Sandy[edit]

As a line paralleling the New Jersey coastline, the North Jersey Coast Line received exceptionally severe damage from Hurricane Sandy on October 29–30, 2012. Track was washed out in several places from Perth Amboy southward, most notably between South Amboy and Aberdeen-Matawan stations, where the line runs closest to the Atlantic Ocean. The Raritan Bay and Morgan Creek drawbridges were struck by boats, storage containers and other floating debris, knocking the bridges' tracks out of alignment. Trees also fell over parts of the line.[4] Service remained suspended for three weeks; a resumption of service only as far as Woodbridge (and skipping Avenel) on November 4 was halted after only one day due to severe overcrowding.[5] The Christie Administration announced that most North Jersey Coast Line trains would return to service on Monday, November 19, with slightly longer trip times and omission of trains to Hoboken Terminal.[6]


Station[7] Miles (km)
from NYP
Connections / notes[7]
Northeast Corridor and City Terminal Zone continue east
1 New York – Penn Station Handicapped/disabled access 0.0 (0.0) 1910 BSicon BAHN.svg Amtrak: Acela Express, Adirondack, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Babylon, Belmont Park, City Terminal Zone, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Northeast Corridor, and Raritan Valley Lines
BSicon SUBWAY.svg NYC Subway: NYCS 1 NYCS 2 NYCS 3 (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Seventh Avenue))
NYCS A NYCS C NYCS E (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Eighth Avenue))
Bus transport NYCT Bus: M4, M7, M20, M34 / M34A SBS, Q32
Bus transport Academy Bus: X23, X24
Bus transport Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach: New York Airport Service
Bus transport Greyhound Lines: BoltBus, NeOn
Bus transport Megabus: M21, M22, M23, M24, M27
Bus transport Eastern Shuttle
Bus transport Vamoose Bus
New York / Hudson county line
Secaucus Junction Handicapped/disabled access 3.5 (5.6) 2003 BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Northeast Corridor, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley Lines
BSicon BAHN.svg Metro-North: Port Jervis Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 2, 78, 129, 329, 353
Hoboken Terminal Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
0.0 (0.0) 1903 BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley Lines
BSicon BAHN.svg Metro-North: Port Jervis Line
BSicon TRAM.svg Hudson-Bergen Light Rail: 8th Street-Hoboken, Hoboken-Tonnelle
BSicon SUBWAY.svg PATH: HOB-WTC, HOB-33, JSQ-33 (via HOB)
Bus transport NJT Bus: 22, 22X, 23, 54, 68, 85, 87, 89, 126
BSicon BOOT.svg New York Waterway to Battery Park City
Hudson / Essex county line
Montclair-Boonton and Morristown, and Gladstone Lines diverge at Kearny Connection
North Jersey Coast Line service from Hoboken converges at Waterfront Connection
Newark – Penn Station Handicapped/disabled access 10.0 (16.1) 1935[8][9] BSicon BAHN.svg Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor and Raritan Valley Lines
BSicon SUBWAY.svg PATH: Newark – World Trade Center
BSicon TRAM.svg Newark Light Rail: Grove Street – Newark Penn, Broad Street – Newark Penn
Bus transport NJT Bus: 1, 5, 11, 21, 25, 28, 29, 34, 39, 40, 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79, 108, 308, 319, 361, 375, 378, go25, go28
Bus transport ONE Bus: 31, 44
Bus transport Greyhound Lines
Newark South Street
Raritan Valley Line diverges at Hunter Connection
Newark Liberty International Airport Handicapped/disabled access 12.6 (20.3) 2001[10] BSicon BAHN.svg Amtrak: Acela Express, Northeast Regional
BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line
BSicon TRAM.svg AirTrain Newark
Essex / Union county line
5 North Elizabeth Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
14.4 (23.2) BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 112
Broad Street – Elizabeth Handicapped/disabled access 15.4 (24.8) 1836 BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 26, 48, 52, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 112
Bus transport ONE Bus: 24
South Elizabeth
7 Linden Handicapped/disabled access 18.6 (29.9) BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 56, 57, 94
North Rahway 20.1 (32.3) 1993 Closed due to maintenance issues
Rahway Handicapped/disabled access 20.7 (33.3) 1971 BSicon BAHN.svg NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 48, 62
Bus transport Rahway Community Shuttle
Northeast Corridor Line diverges
Union / Middlesex county line
9 Avenel Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
10 Woodbridge Handicapped/disabled access 1939 Bus transport NJT Bus: 48, 116, 803
12 Perth Amboy Handicapped/disabled access 1923[11] Bus transport NJT Bus: 48, 116, 813, 815, 817
13 South Amboy Handicapped/disabled access 1938 Bus transport NJT Bus: 815, 817
Laurence Harbor Formerly proposed station in 1985, 2001, and 2008
Middlesex / Monmouth county line
15 Aberdeen-Matawan Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 135
16 Hazlet Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport Academy Bus: PNC Bank Arts Center Shuttle
17 Middletown Handicapped/disabled access
18 Red Bank Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 831, 832, 833, 834, 835
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
19 Little Silver 1875 Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Monmouth Park
(limited service)
20 Long Branch Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 831, 837
Bus transport Academy Bus: 36
Terminus of electrification
Elberon Handicapped/disabled access 1899
21 Allenhurst Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 837
North Asbury Park
Asbury Park Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830, 832, 836, 837
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Bradley Beach Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Belmar Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Spring Lake Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Sea Girt
Manasquan Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Monmouth / Ocean county line
Point Pleasant Beach Handicapped/disabled access Bus transport NJT Bus: 317, 830
Bus transport Academy Bus: Shore Points Line
Bay Head

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New Jersey Transit rail boarding numbers 2007-1999 Berkeley Retrieved 2008-06-28
  2. ^ Wood, Don, "The Unique New York & Long Branch," (1985, Audio-Visual Designs)(ISBN 0917451104).
  3. ^ Jersey Shore Commuters Club History (via
  4. ^ "Hurricane Sandy Storm Damage (slideshow)". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Update as of November 10: Rail and Light Rail Service". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "All But One NJ TRANSIT Rail Lines Fully or Partially Restored Starting Monday, November 19". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "North Jersey Coast Line Timetable". New York, New York: New Jersey Transit. November 19, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Newark Dedicates New Station Today". The New York Times. March 23, 1935. p. 13. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Newark Dedicates Its New Terminal". The New York Times. March 24, 1935. p. N1. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  10. ^ Gootman, Elissa (October 22, 2001). "New Train Service To Newark Airport". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  11. ^ Wang, Paul W.; Massopust, Katherine A. (2009). Perth Amboy (Then and Now). Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7385-6241-4. 

External links[edit]