Madison station (NJ Transit)
View east from south (eastbound) platform
|Owned by||NJ Transit|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||NJ Transit Bus: 873|
|Parking||413 spaces (10 accessible)|
|Station code||426 (Delaware, Lackawanna and Western)|
|Opened||September 17, 1837 (preliminary trip)|
September 28, 1837 (regular service)
|Rebuilt||January 1, 1879|
January 1915–April 17, 1916
|April 1915||1879 depot razed|
|Passengers (2017)||1,536 (average weekday)|
Southern side, 2007
|Location||Madison, New Jersey, USA|
|Architect||Frank J. Nies|
|Architectural style||Collegiate Gothic|
|NRHP reference #||84002764|
Madison is a NJ Transit station in Madison, Morris County, New Jersey, United States, along the Morristown Line. The station was built in 1916 after the local government passed an ordinance for $159,000 with the cooperation of the D.L. & W.R.R. in the planning of the depot. Mrs. D. Willis James financed much of the road grading caused by the track elevation. The tracks were elevated through the downtown and no established roadways were hindered by crossing delays. The station included baggage and cargo facilities readily accessible by wagons as well as the stationmaster offices, a newsstand, and waiting facilities featuring extensive banks of high-backed wooden seating. Weeping Mulberry trees were planted among the landscaping and in natural areas in the parking area. In 1984, the station was listed in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places as part of the Operating Passenger Railroad Stations Thematic Resource.
Station layout and services
Madison station is a two-track railroad station along New Jersey Transit's Morristown Line, a part of the Morris and Essex Lines. The station is two-levels with two low-level side platforms that include mini-high-level platforms. There are two ticket vending machines in the walkway tunnel under the platforms. The station also has a part-time ticket office, open only from 5:30 am to 9:00 am on Monday through Friday and closed entirely on weekends. Madison has three parking lots, all on Kings Road and Prospect Street, containing 413 parking spaces. Of those, only ten are accessible for handicapped persons as per the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Two lots serve daily parking and all three have permit-only parking, run by the borough of Madison. Bicycle racks and lockers are also available for those who need them. The station is in fare zone 11.
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Track 1||← Morristown Line toward Dover or Hackettstown (Convent Station)|
|Track 2||Morristown Line toward Hoboken or New York (Chatham) →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|G||Street level||Station building, ticket machine and parking|
Train service through Madison goes westbound to Dover and Hackettstown. Train service eastbound goes to New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal. The first train out of Madison heading to New York Penn Station on weekdays is at 4:43 am from Dover. The first to Hoboken Terminal is at 6:11 am. The final to New York is at 10:08 pm and the final to Hoboken is at 10:56 pm. The first train arriving from Hoboken Terminal on weekdays (heading to Hackettstown) comes at 6:38 am. The first from New York Penn (heading to Dover) arrives at 8:05 am. On weekends, the first train is at 5:31 am heading to New York Penn Station and none go directly to Hoboken, requiring a transfer to a Gladstone Branch train. The final to New York Penn is at 11:31 pm. The first train to Madison from New York Penn arrives at 8:19 am and the last arrives at 2:24 am the next morning.
Construction and opening (1835–1838)
The line that currently runs through Madison began in 1835 with the charter of the Morris and Essex Railroad, being approved by the New Jersey State Legislature on January 29. As part of an agreement during the surveying process to get land to run through the borough of Madison, the Morris and Essex would be required to stop all trains within the municipality. The agreement was signed off in January 1836 by the local Presbyterian Church on a hill near the future site of Kings Road. The service would run from Newark to nearby Morristown. Madison was one of only three regular stops, with Orange and Millburn. The first passenger train to run through Madison came on September 17, 1837, run by horses. The two horse-drawn rail car would serve 30 people for several months, soon replaced by a locomotive known as the "Orange", built by Seth Boyden.
The first station structure at Madison was a local shack that was used for railroad services near a turntable. However, despite a standing station in Madison, passengers were allowed to use a white hankerchief to flag down the train for a stop.  The station would also serve as the temporary terminus of the Morris and Essex, as the line was not complete into Morristown on January 1, 1838.
Upgrades and station fire (1841–1879)
Frank Lathrop became the first regular commuter from Madison to Newark on a regular basis, one of an average of three that boarded at Madison daily. In September 1843, local residents in Madison worked to get a new station constructed at the site of the modern-day intersection of Waverly Place and Kings Road. However, by 1860, an upgrade was needed once again when Samuel Tuttle, the pastor at the Madison Presbyterian Church and Lathrop had the Lackawanna expand facilities at Madison. Upgrading the station would result in moving the station, Madison's municipal hall, the Methodist Church and a few local residences to the western side of Waverly Place. The railroad and Madison shared the entire cost of $12,000 (1860 USD). In 1861, the railroad track through Madison was upgraded from older wooden ties to stronger ones built for better equipment. Construction of a second track through the borough came in 1867. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad took control of the Morris and Essex Railroad, which was struggling financially, on December 19, 1868.
However, the station depot in Madison, along with several local facilities went up in flames on October 21, 1877. The fire broke out in the feed room of a local grocery owned by I. J. Ayers on Waverly Place. After someone busted open a door to get to the fire, the winds soon engulfed the grocery and other nearby buildings, including the local YMCA and the house of G.W. Squier, a local resident. Another local resident, along with a cigar store, were also claimed in the fire. After the fire consumed Squier's house, the flames moved to the railroad station in under ten minutes. All the tickets and baggage within the depot were saved from the flames. However, the station was a total loss. The debris from the ruined Madison station were removed on October 22. Plans for a new station were being formulated by October 27.
Frustration began to develop in Madison by January 1878 about the lack of construction of a new depot. In the meantime, baggage and ticket services at Madison were being dealt with across the tracks, resulting in people having to cross the tracks, a dangerous proposition. Frustration manifested through February and into March, A pile of stones came to the site of the burned out depot by early March 1878, however locals believed the railroad was not going to begin construction any time soon. However, by March 16, lime had arrived for the preparation of construction of a new depot, which would begin within the next week. A local citizen of prominence got in contact with Lackawanna, demanding a depot be put up soon or at least a structure for reasonable service. The platform was flagged for construction in November 1878 and completed on January 1, 1879.
The Lackawanna wired the depot for electricity in March 1903.
Proposed track elevation (1913–1914)
In August 1913, the Lackawanna Railroad bought up around $250,000 (1913 USD) worth of local property between Chatham and Madison. The land, which totaled 1149 acres (60 ha), along with a full house, was purchased through Alexander Eagle's local firm. The Madison Eagle speculated that the buyouts were for the straightening of railroad tracks between Madison and Chatham. The real estate agency noted that the railroad had been quietly purchasing land rather than doing it so publicly. A survey done several years prior noted that one lot, which took up 65 acres (26 ha), would result in several rooms of the owner's house being removed.
First ordinance attempt (December 1913)
In December 1913, George J. Ray, the chief engineer of the Lackawanna Railroad attended a meeting of the Madison borough council. The engineer explained to the borough about how each phase of the track elevation would go. A new railroad station would be built on the southern side of the tracks at the intersection of Green and Maple Avenues. A park would surround part of the station. The new station would have reasonable parkway space and approaches from Waverly Place, Green and Maple Avenues and Prospect Street. The project would include beautification of local lawns near the depot. A tunnel would connect each side of the tracks, which including a waiting room on the northern isde of the tracks. The southern side would across include a baggage and express carriageway for travelers.
Under this design, the railroad grade crossings at Union, Samson and Madison Avenues, Kings and Green Village Roads, Prospect and Elm Streets, along with Waverly Place would become underpasses for the road to cross under the tracks. Division Street and Ridgedale Avenue would have their crossings abandoned rather than replaced, and Prospect Street would be widened from the station to Main Street. Prospect Street would have sidewalks 60 feet (18 m) long under the overpass. Kings Road would be closed across the tracks, but the local sidewalks would remain open. Woodland Avenue would be extended by the railroad from Division Avenue to Lafayette Avenue in Chatham. Union Avenue would get a 50-by-34-foot (15 m × 10 m) with two sidewalks. The rest of the roads were to cross the tracks with steel girder bridges.
However, Ridgedale Avenue's closing was met by opposition by the mayor-elect of Madison, Benyew D. Philhower. Philhower lived near the crossing and felt that if Ridgedale was closed, there would be no crossing between Madison and Elm. Ray disputed that Ridgedale was studied and that less than 300 vehicles used the crossing, which would have been an 11 percent grade going on an overpass and 10 percent in an underpass. This would cause problems with the Ridgedale and Madison junction nearby and add $100,000 to the $1 million cost of the project.
Talks between the borough of Madison and the Lackawanna Railroad broke down late in December 1913. Despite the railroad offering extra concessions on the Madison station depot (concrete ballast floors on all bridges and concreting the Waverly Place and Green Village Road crossings)). The railroad would also provide drainage and sewers at Prospect Street and Green Avenue along with some property on Kings Road. President of the Lackawanna Railroad, William Truesdale offered these changes only if the borough accepted them after complaints. However, this was turned down by the borough. The negotiations came to a close.
- List of New Jersey Transit stations
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Morris County, New Jersey
- Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen (1913). The Conductor and Brakeman, Volume 30. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- New Jersey State Board of Assessors (1887). Annual Report of the State Board of Assessors of the State of New Jersey, Volumes 4-5. Camden, New Jersey: S. Chew, Printer. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- Taber, Thomas Townsend; Taber, Thomas Townsend III (1980). The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in the Twentieth Century. 1. Muncy, PA: Privately printed. ISBN 0-9603398-2-5.
- Tuttle, Samuel L. (1855). A History of the Presbyterian Church, Madison, N.J.: A Discourse, Delivered on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1854. New York, New York: M.W. Dodd. p. 1. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
- Walker, Herbert T. (1902). "Early History of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and it's Locomotives - Part 2: The Morris and Essex Railroad". Railroad Gazette. 34. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- List of Station Numbers. Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (Report). 1952. p. 2.
- "Morris and Essex is Seventy-Nine Years Old". The Madison Eagle. June 16, 1916. p. 10. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Walker 1902, p. 409.
- "Here is the First Picture of the New Station". The Madison Eagle. January 29, 1915. p. 1. Retrieved June 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Preparing for Foundation for New Madison Station". The Madison Eagle. January 15, 1915. p. 1. Retrieved June 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Taber 1980, pp. 96-97.
- "Tearing Down the Old R. R. Station". The Madison Eagle. April 16, 1915. p. 7. Retrieved January 22, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS" (PDF). New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "How Many Riders Use NJ Transit's Hoboken Train Station?". Hoboken Patch. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
- "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Madison New Jersey Transit Railroad Station Survey
- Morris County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places
- "Madison Station Information". njtransit.com. New Jersey Transit. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- "Morris and Essex Timetable" (PDF). njtransit.com. New Jersey Transit. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- "873 Timetable" (PDF). njtransit.com. New Jersey Transit. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
- New Jersey State Board of Assessors 1888, p. 58.
- Tuttle 1855, p. 72.
- "First Train Was Horse-Drawn". The Madison-Florham Park Eagle. April 14, 1966. p. 4. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen 1913, p. 533.
- "Fire! Fire!". The Madison Journal. October 27, 1877. p. 1. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""No steps have been taken yet..."". The Madison Journal. January 19, 1878. p. 3. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""Are we going to have a depot?"". The Madison Journal. February 9, 1878. p. 3. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""To a newcomer in Madison..."". The Madison Journal. March 9, 1878. p. 5. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""We have heard from authentic sources..."". The Madison Journal. March 16, 1878. p. 5. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""One of our prominent citizens"". The Madison Journal. March 23, 1878. p. 5. Retrieved January 23, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- ""The platform of the new depot is being flagged."". The Madison Journal. November 9, 1878. p. 5. Retrieved January 24, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Local News". The Madison Eagle. March 27, 1903. p. 4. Retrieved January 27, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Property Worth About $250,000 Sold". The Madison Eagle. August 8, 1913. p. 1. Retrieved January 27, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "R.R. Improvement Ordinance Presented". The Madison Eagle. December 19, 1913. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved January 27, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Railroad Ordinance Rejected --- Negotiations at End". The Madison Eagle. January 2, 1914. pp. 1–2. Retrieved January 28, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
Media related to Madison (NJT station) at Wikimedia Commons