Morristown Line

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Morristown Line
Morristown Express.jpg
A Dover bound Morristown Line train made up of MultiLevel coaches getting ready to bypass Mountain station.
(New York Penn Station to Kearny Connection)
New Jersey Transit
(all other trackage)
LocaleNorthern New Jersey
TerminiHoboken or NY Penn Station
Hackettstown (limited service)
TypeCommuter rail
SystemNew Jersey Transit Rail Operations
Operator(s)New Jersey Transit
Rolling stockALP-46 and ALP-45DP locomotives, MultiLevel coaches, Comet coaches, Arrow III multiple units
Daily ridership50,000[1]
(13.5 million annually)[1]
OpenedNovember 19, 1836 (Newark–Orange)
January 1, 1838 (Orange–Morristown)
July 4, 1848 (Morristown–Rockaway)
July 31, 1848 (Rockaway–Dover)
January 16, 1854 (Dover–Hackettstown)
June 10, 1996 (New York–Newark via Kearny Connection/Midtown Direct)
Track length92.3 kilometres (57.4 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 60 Hz AC
Route map

Mount Olive
Port Morris Yard
Lake Hopatcong
Mount Arlington
Dover Yard
original alignment
Mount Tabor
Morris Plains
M&E Main Line
to Roseland
Convent Station
Short Hills
South Orange
Mountain Station
Highland Avenue
Brick Church
East Orange
Newark Broad Street
Newark Light Rail
Meadows Maintenance Complex
Secaucus Junction
MTA NYC logo.svg
Hoboken Yard
Hoboken Terminal
MTA NYC logo.svg Port Authority Trans-Hudson Hudson–Bergen Light Rail
New York Penn Station
BSicon SUBWAY.svg MTA NYC logo.svg Amtrak

The Morristown Line, also known as the Morris & Essex Line,[2] is an NJ Transit commuter rail line connecting Morris and Essex counties to New York City, via either New York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal. Out of 60 inbound and 58 outbound daily weekday trains, 28 inbound and 26 outbound Midtown Direct trains (about 45%) use the Kearny Connection (opened June 10, 1996) to Penn Station; the rest go to Hoboken. Passengers can transfer at Newark Broad Street or Summit to reach the other destination. On rail system maps the line is colored dark green, and its symbol is a drum, a reference to Morristown's history during the American Revolution.

There is frequent service weekdays, with hourly service to/from New York (none going beyond Dover) on weekends. Until August 13, 2006, there was also hourly service to Hoboken. On that date, service between Hoboken and Summit was cut back to once every two hours on weekends. On May 11, 2008, off-peak weekday Hoboken-Dover trains (600 Series) were cut. In addition, weekend Gladstone trains were cut back to Summit, and a shuttle train is operated every two hours between Newark Broad Street and Hoboken Terminal.

Recently[when?] the line between Millburn and Summit underwent extensive rehabilitation. This included the replacement of the creosote crossties on both tracks with concrete crossties, the replacement of all crossties on the double trestle over Short Hills Avenue, and the replacement of several sections of rail. More recently work has been progressing briskly on rehabilitating both tracks between Summit and Dover with concrete crossties and new welded rail, and rehabilitation of select road overpasses.

Hurricane Sandy inflicted severe damage on the Morristown Line on October 29–30, 2012, as fallen trees brought down catenary and signal wires and washed out sections of track, most notably through the New Jersey Meadowlands on both the main line and the Kearny Connection. Midtown Direct service was restored from Dover to New York on November 12, 2012;[3][4] service to Hoboken and west of Dover resumed on November 19.[5]


The Morristown Line begins at Hoboken Terminal or at New York Penn Station. Trains departing for points west of Dover require diesel locomotives. Immediately after leaving Hoboken, the route passes the coach and diesel yards before entering the 1908 Bergen Tunnel under the New Jersey Palisades just past the East End interlocking. At the west portal of the Bergen Tunnel is West End interlocking, where the Main Line, Bergen County Line and Pascack Valley Line branch off to the north. The Morristown Line then crosses over Lower Hack Lift, a vertical lift bridge built in 1927 over the Hackensack River. The line crosses under Route 7 and then passes NJ Transit's Meadowlands Maintenance Complex (MMC).

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and the New Jersey Turnpike cross overhead. The Midtown Direct trains join the Morristown line from New York at Kearny Jct. just past this overpass. The Morristown Line parallels the Amtrak Northeast Corridor and PATH lines and Interstate 280 for a short distance here. The Waterfront Connection is just prior to the overpass at Meadows interlocking. It allows selected North Jersey Coast Line and Raritan Valley Line trains to reach Hoboken from the Northeast Corridor Line.

Newark Drawbridge over the Passaic River bridge. The swing bridge is to the right of the vehicular William A. Stickel Memorial Bridge (I-280) lift bridge in background.
Passing Passiac River by NJT train, east of Broad Street, in Newark, NJ

After following Interstate 280, the line crosses a 2-track swing bridge, the Morristown Line Bridge (Newark Drawbridge) over the Passaic River into the renovated Newark Broad Street station with two high platforms serving all three tracks. After Newark Broad Street Station, within the city limits the line runs in a cut and crosses under many streets, Interstate 280 and the Newark City Subway, and at the abandoned Roseville Avenue station, now the location of Roseville interlocking, the Montclair-Boonton Line splits off to the right. The route west from Passaic River to a short distance to the east of Millburn station is triple tracked. The remainder of the route to Lake Hopatcong station is double tracked.

After passing an abandoned station at Grove Street (now the location of Green interlocking) and over the Garden State Parkway, East Orange is the next stop, on a viaduct. Brick Church and Orange follow, also elevated stations. The line curves south over Interstate 280 past Highland Avenue and Mountain Station. South Orange is next, an elevated station with two platforms and three tracks. Seton Hall University is located here. Maplewood follows, with a side platform and a center platform serving all westbound and some eastbound trains. After Maplewood the line narrows to two tracks at Millburn interlocking. Millburn and Short Hills have two side platforms, with two tracks.

Summit, a major station is next with two high platforms and the station building above the tracks. A glass crossover passes above the platforms. Some weekday locals terminate and originate here. Many of the area's private schools are located in Summit and commuting high school students are a major source of traffic for this station. Schedules are timed for most Morristown trains to have a convenient transfer to a Gladstone branch train across the platform.

Just west of Summit the Gladstone Branch separates and the line crosses over the Passaic River (the second time) into Chatham. Chatham station is on an embankment with two side platforms. Madison on a viaduct is similar, with a recently refurbished 1916 station house on the eastbound side.

The line passes its first grade crossing at Convent Station at Saint Elizabeth University. This station has two side platforms with the station building on the eastbound side and a brick waiting house on the westbound track. An old freight station is on the eastbound side. After this station there are two more grade crossings.

Crossing Interstate 287 the line enters Morristown. The Morristown station has two low side platforms and a large station building open 7 days, and is the focal point of a new transit village development. Mini-high level platform ramps for ADA access at both ends. An abandoned freight station is at the west end. West of the station, the Morristown & Erie Railway's main office are located. The Morristown & Erie's main line diverges at this point.

The next station on the line is Morris Plains, with a 1915 brick station. A local model railroad club is located in the freight house just north of the station. After Morris Plains the line curves through wooded areas, under Route 10, and past several crossings before stopping at Mount Tabor, a small stop in Denville near the community of the same name in Parsippany located at a grade crossing. This stop is served by selected weekday and limited weekend trains and lacks an eastbound platform.

Denville station is a short distance from Mount Tabor. The Morristown Line rejoins the Montclair-Boonton Line just past this station.

The line passes over Estling Lake and alongside the Rockaway River into Dover. Dover, the final stop in electric territory, is next. The 1905 station was recently renovated in the mid-1990s and has a single high platform. No electric Midtown Direct trains and most Hoboken service continues on past here towards Hackettstown. The Morristown Line catenary wires ends about a half-mile west of the station near the US Route 46 overpass. However, there are plans (currently unfunded)[citation needed] to extend the electric service to Lake Hopatcong as the Dover Yard is at capacity, and the substation at Wharton to supply this extension has been in service since 1984.

Two tracks continue west over the Rockaway River and past D&R Junction in Wharton where Morris County's Dover-Rockaway Branch splits off. Chester (Lake) Junction is on the left and provides the connection to Morris County's Chester and High Bridge Branch. Mount Arlington park/ride station is next, with two high platforms and 285 parking spaces near Exit 30 on Interstate 80.

After passing under Interstate 80, Lake Hopatcong station is next. The connection to the Lackawanna Cutoff is on the right as the train approaches Port Morris Yard, where the Montclair-Boonton and Morristown line's diesel fleet is based. Netcong station has a brick house on the low platform. Until late 1994, this was the endpoint of the line. Crossing under Interstate 80, the line enters the Mount Olive International Trade Center, where a station is located at Waterloo Valley Road.

The route passes through Allamuchy Mountain State Park and along the Musconetcong River to Hackettstown. A freight spur to the M&M/Mars plant is on the right, before the line crosses US Route 46 in downtown. The Hackettstown station is shortly ahead, with one low platform and a mini-high ADA ramp. Trackage south of Hackettstown is owned by Norfolk Southern and operated by the Dover and Delaware River Railroad as part of the Lackawanna Washington Secondary to Phillipsburg.

The Morristown line is the main line of the historic Lackawanna Railroad. Until 1970, passenger service continued beyond Lake Hopatcong, to the Poconos, Scranton, Binghamton and Buffalo via the Lackawanna Cut-Off. Service on the Cut-Off as far as Andover is slated to begin again sometime after 2025 with completion of the first phase of the Lackawanna Cut-Off Restoration Project. Future plans include possibly extending rail service into northeastern Pennsylvania, perhaps as far as Scranton.


The Morristown Line east of Dover station is electrified, using 25 kV, 60 Hz AC overhead catenary wire. The line was electrified in 1930 at 3 kV DC, but was re-electrified in 1984 at the contemporary standard of 25 kV, 60 Hz. The connecting Gladstone Branch and Montclair Branch were also re-electrified at this time.

Rolling stock[edit]

Weekday local service between Hoboken and Dover now is mainly diesel (electric if the locomotive is an ALP-45DP or ALP-46), with occasional Arrow III electric MU cars. All Midtown Direct service is push-pull, utilizing electric ALP-46 locomotives or dual-mode ALP-45DP locomotives and Comet or Multilevel coaches. Through service west of Dover from Hoboken uses GP40PH-2 or PL42AC diesels or the ALP-45DP dual-power locomotive (runs electric east of Dover, diesel west of Dover) with Comet cars.


State Zone
Location Station[6] Miles (km) Date opened Date closed Connections / notes[6]
NY 1 Manhattan Pennsylvania Station Disabled access 0.0 (0.0) 1910 Amtrak (long distance): Cardinal, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star
Amtrak (intercity): Acela Express, Adirondack, Carolinian, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Vermonter
Long Island Rail Road: Babylon, Belmont Park, City Terminal Zone, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma, West Hempstead branches
NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, Northeast Corridor, Raritan Valley, North Jersey Coast lines
New York City Subway: 1, ​2, and ​3 (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Seventh Avenue)), A, ​C, and ​E (at 34th Street – Penn Station (Eighth Avenue))
New York City Bus: M7, M20, M34 SBS, M34A, Q32
Academy Bus: SIM23, SIM24
Flixbus: Eastern Shuttle
Vamoose Bus
NJ Secaucus Secaucus Junction Disabled access 3.5 (5.6) 2003 NJ Transit Rail: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Northeast Corridor, Pascack Valley, Raritan Valley, and North Jersey Coast lines
Metro-North Railroad: Port Jervis Line
NJ Transit Bus: 2, 78, 129, 329, 353
Hoboken Hoboken Terminal Disabled access 1903 NJ Transit Rail: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Pascack Valley, Raritan Valley, and North Jersey Coast lines
Metro-North Railroad: Port Jervis Line
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail: 8th Street-Hoboken, Hoboken-Tonnelle
PATH: HOB-WTC, HOB-33, JSQ-33 (via HOB)
NJ Transit Bus: 22, 22X, 23, 68, 85, 87, 89, 126
New York Waterway
Harrison Harrison 7.13 (11.5) September 16, 1984[7]
Newark Newark Broad Street Disabled access 10.4 (16.7) November 19, 1836[8] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line and Gladstone Branch
Newark Light Rail: Broad Street – Newark Penn
NJ Transit Bus: 11, 13, 27, 28, go28, 29, 30, 41, 72, 76, 78, 108
Roseville Avenue 11.6 (18.7) September 16, 1984[7]
East Orange
Grove Street 12.2 (19.6) April 7, 1991[9]
East Orange Disabled access 12.6 (20.3) November 19, 1836[8] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 21, 71, 73, 79, 94
Community Coach: 77
Brick Church 13.2 (21.2) November 19, 1836[8] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 21, 71, 73, 79, 94, 97
Community Coach: 77
ONE Bus: 24
Orange Orange 14.1 (22.7) November 19, 1836[8] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 21, 41, 71, 73, 92
Community Coach: 77
ONE Bus: 24, 44
West Orange Community Shuttle
5 Highland Avenue 14.8 (23.8) NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 92
ONE Bus: 44
South Orange Mountain Station 15.7 (25.3) NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 92
South Orange Disabled access 16.5 (26.6) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 92, 107
ONE Bus: 31
South Orange Community Shuttle
West Orange Community Shuttle
6 Maplewood Maplewood 17.8 (28.6) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
Maplewood Community Shuttle
7 Millburn Millburn 19.4 (32.2) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 70
Short Hills Short Hills 20.4 (32.8) July 1879[11] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
Springfield Community Shuttle
9 Summit Summit Disabled access 22.7 (36.5) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone Branch
NJ Transit Bus: 70, 986
Lakeland Bus: 78
10 Chatham Chatham 26.1 (42.0) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Bus: 873
11 Madison Madison Disabled access 28.1 (45.2) September 17, 1837[10] NJ Transit Bus: 873
12 Convent Station Convent Station 30.3 (48.8) 1867[12] NJ Transit Bus: 873, 878, 879
14 Morristown Morristown Disabled access 32.5 (52.0) January 1, 1838[13] NJ Transit Bus: 871, 872, 873, 874, 880
Community Coach: 77
16 Morris Plains Morris Plains 34.6 (55.7) July 4, 1848[14] NJ Transit Bus: 872, 880
Mount Tabor Mount Tabor 38.3 (61.6) NJ Transit Bus: 880
Denville Denville Disabled access 39.3 (63.2) July 4, 1848[14] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
NJ Transit Bus: 880
17 Dover Dover Disabled access 43.1 (69.4) July 31, 1848[15] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
NJ Transit Bus: 872, 875, 880
Terminus of electrification, transfer point between trains to New York/Hoboken and Dover
Wharton Wharton January 6, 1958[16][17]
Mount Arlington Mount Arlington Disabled access
(limited service)
January 16, 1854[18][19]
January 21, 2008[20]
November 8, 1942[21][22] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
Lakeland Bus: 80
Also known as Howard Boulevard Park and Ride
Roxbury Lake Hopatcong
(limited service)
48.5 (78.1) 1882[23] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
Lakeland Bus: 80
Port Morris April 24, 1949[24][25] Passenger service ended on April 24, 1949, but the site continued to serve as split of the Lackawanna Cut-Off.
Netcong Netcong
(limited service)
51.0 (82.1) January 16, 1854[18][19] NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
Former western terminus, originally Netcong-Stanhope
Mount Olive Mount Olive Disabled access
(limited service)
52.7 (84.8) January 16, 1854[18][19]
October 31, 1994[26]
April 24, 1960[27][28]
NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line
Originally Waterloo
Hackettstown Hackettstown Disabled access
(limited service)
60.0 (96.6) January 16, 1854[18]
October 31, 1994[26]
September 30, 1966[29]
NJ Transit Rail: Montclair-Boonton Line


  1. ^ a b NJ Transit celebrates 10-year anniversary of MidTOWN Direct service New Jersey Transit Retrieved 2007-09-08
  2. ^ Levin, Jay (26 May 2021). "Denville, N.J.: Lakefront Living with an Eclectic Downtown". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "NEW FERRY OPTION TO MIDTOWN MANHATTAN FROM HOBOKEN: EFFECTIVE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12". NJ Transit Customer Notices: Post-Hurricane Service Updates and Travel Options. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Midtown Direct Will Resume Limited Service Monday". Millburn-Short Hills Patch. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  5. ^ "All But One NJ TRANSIT Rail Lines Fully or Partially Restored Starting Monday, November 19". New Jersey Transit. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Morris & Essex Line Timetable" (PDF). New York, New York: New Jersey Transit. November 19, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Morris & Essex Lines Timetable (September 16, 1984 ed.). Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. 1984.
  8. ^ a b c d Douglass 1912, p. 339.
  9. ^ Morris & Essex Lines Timetable (April 7, 1991 ed.). Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. 1991.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Morris and Essex is Seventy-Nine Years Old". The Madison Eagle. June 16, 1916. p. 10. Retrieved February 25, 2020 – via open access
  11. ^ Stern, Fishman & Tilove 2013, p. 131.
  12. ^ Housing Legislation of 1966: Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Banking and Currency - United States Senate Eighty-Ninth Congress Second Session on Proposed Housing Legislation for 1966 (Report). 89th United States Congress. 1967. p. 1198. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  13. ^ Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen 1913, p. 533.
  14. ^ a b Arch, Brad (January 1982). "The Morris and Essex Railroad" (PDF). Journal of New Jersey Postal History Society. X (1): 4–8. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Platt 1922, p. 36.
  16. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. October 27, 1957. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. January 6, 1958. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d Davis, J.M. "Letter to the New York Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society" (PDF). The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company. p. 8. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c New Jersey Comptroller of the Treasury 1856, p. 31.
  20. ^ Saha, Paula (January 21, 2008). "NJ Transit Station in Mount Arlington Offers Choice to Commuters". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  21. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. August 1, 1942. p. 14. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  22. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. November 8, 1942. p. 14. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Ledgewood Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. p. 38. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  24. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. February 14, 1949. p. 14. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  25. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. April 24, 1949. p. 14. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Ciliberti, Dino F. (October 30, 1994). "Train Service Starts Tomorrow to Mount Olive, Hackettstown". The Daily Record. Morristown, New Jersey. p. E7. Retrieved April 7, 2020 – via open access
  27. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. April 24, 1960. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  28. ^ "Lackawanna Railroad Timetables" (PDF). New York, New York: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. January 1, 1960. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  29. ^ "Erie Curtailment Approved by Judiciary". The Morning Call. Paterson, New Jersey. October 1, 1966. p. 1. Retrieved April 8, 2020 – via open access


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