NJ Transit Rail Station
A train arriving at the upper platform level of Secaucus Junction station.
|Address||County Road & County Avenue, Secaucus, NJ|
|Connections||NJT Bus: 2, 78, 129, 329, 353|
|Platforms||1 island platform and 2 side platforms (upper level)
2 island platforms (lower level)
|Opened||December 15, 2003|
|Owned by||New Jersey Transit|
|Passengers (Q1 FY2013)||23,440 (average weekday) 16.2%|
It was dedicated as the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction and opened on December 15, 2003. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died in 2013, was a transit advocate who had worked to allocate federal funds for the project.
The $450 million, 321,000-square-foot (29,800 m2) station sits atop the former Croxton freight yards where Hoboken Terminal-bound tracks pass under New York Penn Station-bound tracks in a cross. Its main purpose is to allow passengers to transfer between trains to/from Hoboken Terminal and trains to/from New York Penn Station.
The station does not currently serve Amtrak trains, which pass through the station on the upper level outer tracks without stopping.
Purpose and history
Unlike other New Jersey Transit rail stations, Secaucus Junction was built as a transfer point; it allows passengers to transfer between trains on nine of the agency's commuter rail lines. Before Secaucus Junction was built, commuters on non-electrified lines to Hoboken Terminal used PATH trains or ferries to reach Manhattan and other points in New York City. Commuters whose trains terminated at New York Penn Station could connect to subway services but had to go to a PATH station to reach Hoboken (apart from Morristown Line riders).
The two-track Northeast Corridor mainline embankment was expanded to three tracks for a mile on each side of the station and to four tracks through the station itself, allowing Amtrak and nonstop NJT trains to pass stopped trains. The two-track Bergen County Line was re-aligned southwestward next to the two-track Main Line to pass through the station on the four-track lower level. The construction required the bodies from the Hudson County Burial Grounds to be disinterred and moved to another cemetery.
The station was built with little public parking, as NJT believed few passenger trips would originate at the transfer point. In 2005, Exit 15X on the adjacent New Jersey Turnpike opened to provide easier access to the station from the surrounding area. Two years later, 15X became the least-used interchange on the turnpike, due in part to the lack of parking at the station. On June 1, 2009, Edison Parkfast, a private company, opened the first parking lot near the station, with space for 1,094 cars. Bicycle parking is also available.
As of April 3, 2011 the public timetables show 79 westward weekday trains from Hoboken on the lower level, while the upper level sees 164 westward NJ Transit trains and 51 Amtrak trains (plus the triweekly Cardinal). Some of the NJ Transit trains and all of the Amtrak trains pass without stopping.
On July 26, 2009 New Jersey Transit began frequent shuttle service to the Meadowlands Station at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, with the station being a transfer point for passengers from New York City and other areas in New Jersey. Also since 2009, Secaucus Junction serves trains coming from Metro-North's New Haven Line for connecting trains to football games at the Meadowlands. The service runs one train in each direction for Giants and Jets games with 1:00 p.m. kickoffs on Sundays.
Despite its name, Secaucus Junction is not a true junction, in which trains can be switched between lines; there is no rail connection between the upper and lower levels. The station has two platform levels connected by a third level on top.
- The bottom level lacks electrification and has four tracks and two island platforms serving the Bergen County Line, Main Line, Pascack Valley Line, and Meadowlands Line trains, which originate and terminate at Hoboken Terminal.
- The upper level of tracks is electrified and serves trains to and from New York Penn Station (usually the Northeast Corridor (NEC) on, North Jersey Coast, Montclair-Boonton, and Morristown Lines) with four tracks and three platforms: two side platforms serving Tracks 2 and 3 (where nonstop trains usually bypass) and one island platform serving Tracks A and B.
- The upper concourse of the station contains amenities and serves passengers switching trains. To transfer between trains on different levels, passengers climb up to the concourse, pass through ticket gates (which only accept a ticket once), and descend back down to their destination platforms. At the center of this level is a 30 ft-high (10m) steel, glass and titanium sculpture of a cattail (abundant in the surrounding New Jersey Meadowlands) by San Francisco artist Louis "Cork" Marcheschi. The tops of the cattails are lit from within in the purple, blue and orange colors of NJ Transit. There is a newsstand, a Dunkin' Donuts, a small pub and waiting area around the concourse, and a Sbarro's.
Proposed New York City Subway extension
On November 16, 2010, The New York Times reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration was working on a plan to bring the 7 <7> trains of the New York City Subway under the Hudson River to Secaucus Junction. An extension of that service, from its current terminus at Times Square – 42nd Street, to a new station at Eleventh Avenue and 34th Street, is already under construction.
If built, the extension would take the New York City Subway outside the city's borders and under the Hudson River for the first time. The plan would replace the controversial Access to the Region's Core tunnel, which was canceled by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in October 2010. It would offer a direct route to Grand Central Terminal on the east side of Manhattan, while connecting with most other subway routes. New York City spent $250,000 for a consultant to conduct feasibility studies for the project, however no design work has commenced, nor have financing arrangements have been made. On October 26, 2011, New York City Mayor Bloomberg reiterated his support for the project, while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also expressed general concurrence. In April 2013, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rejected the proposed extension, citing lack of funding. 
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Frassinelli, Mike (June 5, 2013). "U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg gets one last ride at the Secaucus station that bears his name". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Ramp to nowhere - 15X is the loneliest exit in Jersey". The Record. October 18, 2007. p. L08.
- "First parking lot opens at Secaucus Junction". The Jersey Journal. June 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- NJY station listing
- Clunn, Nick (July 26, 2009). "Thousands hop on board new Meadowlands rail service". The Record. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- Saeed, Khurram (June 29, 2009). "Metro-North to run trains to 10 Jets, Giants games in the 2009 season". Journal News. p. A.1.
- "Take The Train To The Game". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "NJ Commuters Like 7 Train Extension Plan". WCBS. November 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- "Tunnel to Nowhere Might Become 7 to Secaucus". WNBC. November 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- Roth, Jaime (November 17, 2010). "7 Subway Extension to NJ (Video)". WABC. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- Greenburg, Grant (November 17, 2010). "City Floats Idea Of Extending 7 Train To Jersey". NY1. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- "Christie Backs 7 Subway Line Extension Into N.J.". NY1. November 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- "City Investing In Possible 7 Line Extension To New Jersey". NY1. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- Bagli, Charles (November 16, 2010). "New York Studies Extending Subway Line to New Jersey". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- Bloomberg wants to extend 7 train to NJ
- Christie Endorses Extension of New York Subway to New Jersey
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Secaucus Junction.|
- NJT rail station information page for Secaucus Junction
- DepartureVision real time train information for Secaucus Junction upper level
- DepartureVision real time train information for Secaucus Junction lower level
- Station from New Jersey Turnpike from Google Maps Street View