Timeline of Jersey City, New Jersey-area railroads

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Port of New York Railroads ca. 1900

For the purposes of this article, the Jersey City area goes north to Edgewater (the northern end of the line along the Hudson River), south to Bayonne, and includes Kearny Junction and Harrison but not Newark. Thus all events relating to travel east from Newark is covered but not in any other direction.

These abbreviations are used, mainly to identify which system a line ended up with:



  • September 15: The New Jersey Railroad (to be PRR but not for 38 years) begins regular trips from Newark to Jersey City's new first terminal built by NJRR, (A 3 track Head end, train shed like building, of good size for the time,https://web.archive.org/web/20120717015916/http://www.getnj.com/jchist/101.shtml [1] the route crossing the Passaic River on the Newark, Centre Street Bridge and also successfully crossing the List of crossings of the Hackensack RiverHackensack River to Jersey City, on the west side of the Palisades.[2] Using temporary tracks, and horse drawn trains, around and over the Bergen Ridge to the Terminal on the Hudson ( North river) for transfer to ferry's to New York City.








  • July 29: The CNJ's Jersey City extension opens, from about Spring Street in Elizabeth to the Jersey City terminal, including a long bridge across Newark Bay.





  • January 9: The frog war between the Erie and DL&W ends, with the frog being placed to allow DL&W Boonton Branch trains to run through the Erie's tunnel.



  • The Pennsylvania Railroad constructs a new passenger ferry terminal with 12 tracks and 6 platforms. The wooden terminal is built on piers over the water.[2]
  • The Hudson Connecting Railway, part of the New Jersey Midland, and later NYS&W, completed to West End Junction with Erie connection to Marion Junction.


  • May 12: The DL&W opens its new tunnel through the Palisades, ending its trackage rights through the Erie's tunnel. Included with the tunnel are western approaches to the DL&W main line and Boonton Branch; the former includes a new bridge over the Hackensack River, south of the old one (which is then used only for the Erie's Newark and Greenwood Lake Branches). The new alignment at first crosses the New Jersey Midland Railroad (NYS&W) at grade.



  • The West Shore Railroad's (NYC) tunnel through the Palisades opens.
  • August 4: The Pennsylvania Railroad passenger and ferry terminal at Exchange Place burns as a result of an explosion in a gas reservoir underneath the station.[3] [4]


  • December 5: NYC leases the West Shore Railroad for 475 years from January 1, 1886, with the privilege of an additional 500-year term.[12]






  • The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) rebuilds the passenger ferry terminal to replace the old terminal which was partially destroyed by fire. The new terminal is raised 15 to 20 feet above the old level to accommodate new elevated rails that eliminate grade crossings in the city.[2]



  • May 15 The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Edgewater Tunnel through the Palisades is opened for freight traffic. The mile-long tunnel took 18 months to construct and provides the NYS&W access to its own waterside terminal in Edgewater. The NYS&W had previously used the DL&W terminal in Hoboken.[6]



  • The Greenville and Hudson Railway (LVRR) completes construction of a line roughly parallel to the National Docks Railway from the Newark Bay bridge to the Jersey City terminal. Upon completion, the Lehigh Valley Railroad has a wholly owned route from the coal fields of Pennsylvania to its terminal in Jersey City.








  • The Erie Railroad trains shift to Hoboken Terminal, as the company merges with the Lackawanna Railroad.


  • With the Aldene Plan, Communipaw Terminal, the last Jersey City terminal closes. Lehigh Valley trains now terminate at Newark Penn Station, as do Reading Railroad trains; . CNJ Trains run over LV from Roselle Park, NJ to Newark, NJ then on the PRR and terminate at Newark Penn Station, and use a small yard in Harrison. It was not until the late '90 when the midtown direct service was instituted on NJ TRANSIT did some raritan valley trains run to hoboken.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ A drawing of which can be found in the book "From the Hills to the Hudson" on page 179 the top view)
  2. ^ a b Buildings and Structures of American Railroads, Walter G. Berg, C.E., John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1892, p. 412
  3. ^ "In One Mass of Flames, the Pennsylvania Railroad's Buildings Burned", New York Times, August 5, 1884
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad Fire", Leslie's Illustrated newspaper, August 14, 1884 on page 411. With a large drawing of burner up pier area.
  5. ^ Terminal Facilities Sold, The New York Times, Oct 9, 1887
  6. ^ "Palisades Tunnel Completed", New York Times, May 14, 1894
  7. ^ "A SMALL COSTLY TUNNEL Opposition and Litigation Double Its Expense". New York Times. July 5, 1896. Retrieved 2010-11-20.