Newark and New York Railroad

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Newark and
New York Railroad
Liberty Street
West 23rd Street
Jersey City
Pacific Avenue
Arlington Avenue
Jackson Avenue
West Side Avenue
Newark Transfer
Chemical Coast Line
East Ferry Street
Ferry Street
Lafayette Street Terminal
The façade of the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal near Four Corners in Downtown Newark
At the site of the Hackensack River crossing footings of the bridge remain, situated between Lincoln Highway and the Lehigh Valley Railroad Bridge, as do approaches to the PD Draw across the Passaic.
1915 view of Jackson Avenue station
The bridge over the Northeast Corridor near Newark Penn Station, slated to become part of Triangle Park

The Newark and New York Railroad was a passenger rail line that ran between Downtown Newark and the Communipaw Terminal at the mouth of the North River (Hudson River) in Jersey City, bridging the Hackensack River and Passaic River just north of their mouths at the Newark Bay in northeastern New Jersey. The Central Railroad of New Jersey operated it from its opening in 1869. Through operation ended in 1946; portions remained in use until 1967.


Opened on July 23, 1869 and operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ), the railroad provided a direct route between Newark and its Jersey City terminal, where passengers could transfer to ferries to New York.[1] The line cost $300,000 per mile, unprecedented at the time, earning it the sobriquet "the country's costliest railroad".[2] In 1872 a connection south was added at a junction called Newark Transfer to Elizabeth, where it joined the railroad's main line, which crossed Newark Bay at Bayonne on the predecessor of the CRRNJ Newark Bay Bridge. The line was built partially to relieve overcrowding and reduce the travel time taken on the New Jersey Railroad line to Exchange Place on the Hudson River waterfront.[3][4][5]

The route travelled west from the Hudson and crossed Bergen Hill where a cut had been excavated for a right of way (ROW).[6][7] It then crossed the Hackensack to Kearny Point, the tip of a larger peninsula formally known as New Barbadoes Neck, to the Passaic River. The bridges across the rivers were raised in 1913 to accommodate shipping.[8] Upon crossing the Passaic River, it entered the Ironbound Section of Newark at Ferry and St. Francis Streets, traveling parallel to and south of Market Street until it crossed Ferry Street again between Union and Prospect Streets. From there, the line crossed over the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) tracks and terminated at Broad Street.[9] At its peak over 100 passenger trains used the route daily.[2]

After a boat collided with the Hackensack Drawbridge in 1946 causing severe damage,[10] the through line was discontinued, and the bridge was dismantled.[7][2] Passenger trains from both Newark and Elizabethport continued utilizing the PD Draw over the Passaic to Kearny to serve a Western Electric plant on Kearny Point until the Aldene Plan was implemented in 1967.[11]

The piers of the Hackensack bridge are still visible (at 40°43′07″N 74°06′14″W / 40.718709°N 74.103985°W / 40.718709; -74.103985) from the shoreline along the proposed Hackensack RiverWalk.[12] Several open-deck spans of the Passaic River swing bridge, and its main pier (though not the swing span itself), remain (at 40°43′23″N 74°07′17″W / 40.72299°N 74.121346°W / 40.72299; -74.121346). While the Newark terminal building is still standing and is part of the Four Corners Historic District the trackage and train shed which served it are now the site of the Prudential Center. The rail yard is site of the proposed Triangle Park. The bridges from the yard over McCarter Highway, the PRR tracks now used by Amtrak/New Jersey Transit (NJT) to Newark Penn Station, and New Jersey Railroad Avenue still exist.[13] A station house at the Jackson Avenue station survived until the 2010s.[14][15]

The ROW through Bergen Hill and West Side in Jersey City has become part of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail. NJT has announced plans for 0.7 mile extension of the West Side Branch from its current terminus at West Side Avenue Station over Route 440 to a redevelopment area known as Bayfront, where a new station would be constructed.[16][17][18][19]


City Station Service Began Service Ended Station Status
New York City Liberty Street[20][21][22] location filled as part of Battery Park City
Service provided by NY Waterway at BPC Ferry Terminal
West 23rd Street[22][23] Pier 63 at Hudson River Park
North River (Hudson River)
Jersey City Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal[20][21][22][24] 1864 April 30, 1967 Partially preserved in Liberty State Park
Communipaw[20][21][22] Liberty State Park (HBLR station) is just to the north of the former station
Pacific Avenue[22]
Arlington Avenue[22] Garfield Avenue (HBLR station)
Jackson Avenue[14][15][22] Martin Luther King Drive (HBLR station)
West Side Avenue[22] West Side Avenue (HBLR station)
Bayfront is a proposed Hudson Bergen Light Rail station along the right of way on the West Side[18]
Hackensack River-Hackensack Drawbridge
Kearny[22] Kearny Station
Passaic River-PD Draw
Newark Newark Transfer[22] Chemical Coast freight only
East Ferry Street Station[22] trackage and stations removed
Ferry Street[22]
Lafayette Street Terminal (Newark)[22]
40°44′1″N 74°10′16″W / 40.73361°N 74.17111°W / 40.73361; -74.17111
terminal building standing
trackage removed,

now Prudential Center; proposed Triangle Park

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Opening of the Newark and New-York Railroad" (PDF). New York Times. July 24, 1869. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Schmidt, Jr., W.H. (November 1948). ""Costliest railroad" now half abandoned". Trains. Vol. 9 no. 1. p. 52.
  3. ^ "Importance of the New Railroad to Newark" (PDF). The New York Times. March 4, 1866.
  4. ^ "NEW-YORK AND NEWARK RAILROAD; Enthusiastic Meeting in Newark-Abuses of the New-Jersey Railroad Denounced--Resolutions in Support of a New Road--Importance of Proper Communications with New-York" (PDF). The New York Times. February 14, 1866.
  5. ^ "Article 1 -- No Title" (PDF). The New York Times. February 16, 1866.
  6. ^ "The Newark and New-York Railroad Company" (PDF). The New York Times. September 16, 1866.
  7. ^ a b French, Kenneth (February 24, 2002). Images of America: Railroads of Hoboken and Jersey City. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 25–29. ISBN 978-0-7385-0966-2. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  8. ^ "Dredge Hackensack River Improving Newark Meadows Section for Development" (PDF). New York Times. February 9, 1913. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "Railway Management.; A New Story Of A Deal" (PDF). The New York Times. January 12, 1890.
  10. ^ "Steamer Wrecks Bridge in Jersey 6000-Ton Coal Ship Shears Off Two Spans of Central Railroad Structure", The New York Times, February 4, 1946
  11. ^ Colletti, Richard (December 26, 2011). "Towers of the CNJ2". Towers of the CNJ. NRHS (Jersey Central). Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  12. ^ Hackensack River bridges
  13. ^ "Newark and New York Branch over NJ21" (PDF). New Jersey Historic Bridge Data. NJDOT. 2001. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Jackson Avenue Station
  15. ^ a b Jackson Avenue Station
  16. ^ Whiten, John (May 11, 2011). "Light Rail Extension to Jersey City's West Side Gets Push Forward from NJ Transit". Jersey City Independent. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  17. ^ "NJ Transit Approves Study of Light Rail Extension" (Press release). New Jersey Transit. September 16, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  18. ^ a b Whiten, Jon (August 23, 2010). "West Side Light Rail Extension Project Picks Up Some Federal Funding". Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  19. ^ NJ Transit's board advances light-rail extension, awards transit center contract
  20. ^ a b c Travelers' official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. June 1, 1970.
  21. ^ a b c Travelers official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. June 1893.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Timetable (1925), Service schedule (Newark and New York), Central Railroad of New Jersey, archived from the original on July 14, 2011
  23. ^ "Weekdays". New Jersey Central. 1941. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  24. ^ "Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal". Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2009.

External links[edit]