Princeton Junction (NJT station)

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Princeton Junction
Princeton Junction Station
Location 2 Wallace Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
Coordinates 40°19′00″N 74°37′24″W / 40.3167°N 74.6233°W / 40.3167; -74.6233Coordinates: 40°19′00″N 74°37′24″W / 40.3167°N 74.6233°W / 40.3167; -74.6233
Owned by New Jersey Transit
Line(s) Amtrak: New Jersey Transit:
Platforms 3 side platforms
(southbound NEC and Princeton Branch platforms connected at their north ends)
Tracks 5
Connections NJT Bus NJT Bus: 600, 612
Parking 3,560 spaces[1]
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code PJC
Fare zone 19 (NJT)[2]
Electrified 1932
Passengers (2012) 6,816 (average weekday)[3]Decrease 1% (NJT)
Passengers (FY 2014) 44,007[4]Decrease 3.7% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
toward Harrisburg
Keystone Service
Northeast Regional
NJT logo.svg NJ Transit Rail
toward Trenton
Northeast Corridor Line
Princeton Branch Terminus
  Former services  
Pennsylvania Railroad
toward Chicago
Main Line
Princeton Branch Terminus

Princeton Junction is a New Jersey Transit (NJT) and Amtrak rail station on the Northeast Corridor located in Princeton Junction, a census-designated place within West Windsor Township in New Jersey, USA. On Amtrak and NJT tickets its abbreviation is PJC.

Station signs include the name of the township, West Windsor.


As of 2011, Princeton Junction was the 5th busiest station in the NJT rail system, with an average of 6,826 weekday boardings;[5] ridership decreased slightly in 2012 to an average of 6,816 passengers per weekday.[3] In addition to the Northeast Corridor Line, NJT operates a 2.8-mile (4.51-km) spur line, the Princeton Branch to Princeton Station located at the Princeton University campus in Princeton. The shuttle is colloquially known as the "Dinky",[6] and has also been known as the "PJ&B" (for "Princeton Junction and Back").[7] Two train cars, or sometimes just one, are used. A single switch connects the branch to the Northeast Corridor tracks north of the station.

Amtrak provides two early-morning trains to Washington, D.C., and two evening returns, as well as one morning train to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and 1 evening return, all of which call at Philadelphia. Many more Amtrak trains stop at the much closer Trenton Transit Center. Until 2007 all Pennsylvanian trains stopped at this station.


The "Dinky" at the Princeton Branch platform at Princeton Junction, with parking area to left.

Permit parking is operated by the West Windsor Parking Authority. All spaces on the New York-bound side as well as most of the spaces on the Philadelphia-bound side are in permit lots. West Windsor Township residents have about a five-year wait to buy quarterly permits;[8] nonresident quarterly permits cost more and have a waiting period twice as long.

Daily parking is available in a nearby lot just north of the Princeton Branch platform and another lot in the rear of the paved lot on the south side of Vaughn Drive. The nearby lot usually fills by 7:15 am on Mondays through Thursdays; the Vaughn Drive lot does not usually fill up. Privately operated parking is available along Station Drive near Washington Road.

Central Jersey Route One Corridor BRT[edit]

The Central Jersey Route One Corridor BRT is a proposed bus rapid transit system which would use Princeton Junction as its hub.[9][10][11]

Transit village[edit]

Princeton Junction has been designated the core of the West Windsor transit village, a smart growth initiative to promote transit-oriented development which can include government incentives to encourage compact, higher density, mixed-use development within walking distance of the station.[12] Development adjacent to the station permits higher densities and with include retail end entertainment elements.[13]


Princeton Junction's origins can be traced back to the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company the predecessor of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Albert Einstein, who lived at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, used to enjoy sitting at the station and watching the trains go by.[14] More than once he employed trains to explain the practical effects of his General Theory of Relativity.

In 1965, a prototype for the high-speed Metroliner passed through the station at the record speed (at that time) of 164 miles per hour (264 km/h) on a short demonstration run. Very few sections of the Northeast Corridor were capable of handling that speed, and most had to be upgraded before Penn Central's Metroliner service was introduced in 1969.

The present station house was built in 1987.[15] Most of Amtrak's Princeton Junction service prior to 2005 was "Clocker" service commuter traffic to New York, Newark, or Philadelphia. Since October 28, 2005, the Clockers have been replaced by NJT trains that run only as far south as Trenton.

High-speed rail corridor[edit]

In August 2011, the United States Department of Transportation obligated $450 million to a six-year project to support capacity increases on one of the busiest segments on the NEC, a 24 miles (39 km) section between New Brunswick and Trenton, passing through Princeton Junction. The Next Generation High-Speed project is designed to upgrade electrical power, signal systems, and overhead catenary wires to improve reliability and increase speeds up to 160 mph (260 km/h), and after the purchase of new equipment, up to 186 mph (299 km/h).[16] In September 2012, speed tests were conducted using Acela train sets, achieving a speed of 165.[17] [18] Speeds are expected to raise to 180 after new train sets are purchased and brought in service.[16] A speed of 170 mph (270+ km/h) was achieved on the exact portion of track on December 20, 1967 when the U.S.-built UAC TurboTrain set the rail land-speed record in North America. A plaque at the station commemorates the event.[19][20]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Northeast Corridor Timetables" (PDF). Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. December 27, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, State of New Jersey" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "New Jersey Transit Facts at a Glance Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011)" (pdf). NJT. February 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Princeton University: Train Travel". Princeton University. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  7. ^ Rosenbaum, Joel; Tom Gallo (1997). NJ Transit Rail Operations. Railpace Newsmagazine. 
  8. ^ Parking Permit Program, accessed February 3, 2007
  9. ^ "US 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)". Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  10. ^ "Fact Sheet 2008". Central New jersey Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit Project. New Jersey Transit. 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  11. ^ "Central NJ Route 1 BRT" (PDF). NJ Transit Bus Service: The Next Generation. New Jersey Transit. April 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  12. ^ "West Windsor gains Transit Village designation Township becomes 24th Transit Village in New Jersey". NJDOT. January 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (17 July 2010). "Proposal to replace Princeton's longtime 'Dinky' train with bus line saddens sentimental locals". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Princeton Junction Station (PJC); Great American Stations (Amtrak)
  16. ^ a b Schned, Dan (August 24, 2011). "U.S. DOT Obligates $745 Million to Northeast Corridor Rail Projects". America 2050. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  17. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (September 25, 2012). "Amtrak train looks to break U.S. speed record in Northeast Corridor test". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Dedication of plaque commemorating high speed rail in America" on the National Capital Land Transportation Committee's website
  20. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Princeton Junction (NJT station) at Wikimedia Commons