Short Hills (NJT station)
|Address||225 Chatham Road
Short Hills, NJ 07078
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||1 January 1838|
|Passengers (2012)||1,478 (average weekday)|
The presence of a railroad station at the present site dates from 1879, when Stewart Hartshorn, the developer of what became the Short Hills neighborhood of Millburn, built a station along the Morris and Essex Railroad line. He built the station at his own expense at a cost of US $2,520.00, took full responsibility for its maintenance (which included paying the salary of the station master), and persuaded the operators of the M&E (actually the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad) to serve his station with two train stops a day. (Interestingly, the United States Post Office operated a station of their own on the premises of Stewart Hartshorn's original station. The USPS' presence in Short Hills dates from that year.)
In 2002, local residents planted a memorial tree on the station grounds to honour those of their neighbors who went to work on September 11, 2001, most of them using this very station, and never came back.
The station is located between Hobart and Chatham Avenues. The Crescent Street and Short Hills Avenue terminate at or near the station. A trestle carries the tracks over Short Hills Avenue. The relatively narrow opening of the trestle makes this intersection one of the most dangerous in all of Short Hills. The station is the only one of NJ Transit's to have to advertisements.
The 1907 station had two buildings, one on each side of the double tracks. Today, however, only the building on the eastbound (toward Hoboken and New York Penn Station) side is in active use by New Jersey Transit; the westbound building houses the Millburn Short Hills Historical Society. The eastbound building houses a waiting area, community bulletin board, a restroom, a small news stand, and a ticket office (normally open weekdays between 4:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., closed on weekends and holidays).
Passengers may walk from one side of the tracks to the other through a tunnel that runs beneath them, with stairways to Hobart Avenue and to the eastbound and westbound (toward Gladstone and Hackettstown) platforms.
Both platforms are ground-level platforms. This station does not have the handicap-accessible high-level platforms available, for example, at the Summit station.
Renovation in 2006
Millburn Township has renovated the station and upgraded the restrooms to make them compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. They have also repaired the rain gutters and leaders (downspouts). All the wooden doors, windows, and benches have undergone refinishing.
The Morristown Line and its Gladstone Branch, commonly referred to as the Morris & Essex Lines, serve this station. They provide service to multiple towns in northern New Jersey and west of Newark, and also to Hoboken and New York City.
Service begins at 5:00 a.m. and ends at 2:24 a.m. 58 inbound trains (including 15 peak-hour trains) and 63 outbound trains (including 14 peak-hour trains) stop at this station every weekday. Weekend and holiday service is limited to 39 inbound and 39 outbound trains, running between 5:32 a.m. and 2:20 a.m. Afternoon and evening service to and from Hoboken typically consists of trains containing three or four self-propelled electric cars. Hoboken service at other hours, and all Midtown Direct service (to and from New York), is provided on much longer trains propelled by electric (or occasionally Diesel-electric) locomotives either in push or pull mode.
For fare-calculation and seat-check purposes, the Short Hills station is in Zone 7 of the Morris & Essex Lines, a zone it shares with the Millburn station. As is the policy everywhere on the New Jersey Transit system, passengers who board the train while the ticket office is open, and then buy their tickets on board, are subject to a five-dollar surcharge.
Theoretically, any passenger could connect between the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch at this or any other station between Summit and Newark Broad Street stations. However, most passengers will transfer, if they need to, between the Morristown and Gladstone branches at Summit and between Midtown Direct and Hoboken service at Newark Broad Street.
New Jersey Transit does not operate any local bus route connecting to this station. However, at least one local handicap/elderly jitney-like line provides service to this station.
The town of Springfield runs a jitney in the mornings and afternoons between the Springfield Town Pool parking lot and the Short Hills trains station.
Permitted parking is available on the eastbound side and across nearby Chatham Avenue, next to the United States Post Office branch. Permits typically cost $300 per year and are the same as the residential-parking permits that carry with them the privilege of parking one's car on the street in front of one's own house. Most Short Hills residents do not buy the annual permits. When they use the train they have family members drop them off at the station and pick them up. (Nearby shopping districts guard their parking spaces with meters that run no longer than one hour, for the nominal fee of ten cents per hour, a fee intended solely to prevent railroad users from abusing their parking privileges.)
Parking is not permitted on the westbound side. Limited standing is permitted for passenger pickup and drop-off.
Bicycle parking, in the form of metal chaining racks, is available on the eastbound side.
Nearby businesses, facilities, and attractions
The building on the westbound side is now a museum owned and operated by the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society. Short Hills Park is located across Hobart Avenue from the station. The Short Hills Racquets Club is also located on the westbound side, within easy walking distance. The Millburn Township, which owns the station building, approved a concession for a restaurant within the Short Hills train station. The Boxcar Tavern recently opened within the eastbound side station. When standing on either platform, one can easily see the windmill erected by Stewart Hartshorn to provide water pumpage to his home.
This station is located near the Short Hills branch of the United States Post Office and within walking distance of numerous small shops, all of which are on Chatham Road the eastbound side.
Insulation of the station from developmental encroachment
No residence, business, or office, except the two buildings of the station proper, stands on the two strips of land separating the railroad right-of-way from Hobart Avenue on the westbound side and Chatham Road on the eastbound. This is an intentional policy that carries forward from Stewart Hartshorn's original directive that no development ever take place on those strips of land.
- "Morris and Essex Timetables". Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Meisner, Marian. A History of Millburn Township. Millburn, NJ: Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society and Millburn Free Public Library, 2002 (e-book).
- Millburn Short Hills Historical Society website: http://www.mshhistsoc.org/
- Short Hills Train Station - Reimagined as a Restaurant, Published April 20, 2012, Bunn Moxley Homes http://bunnmoxleyhomes.com/short-hills-train-station-boxcar-restau/
- Meisner, opere citato
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