Newark Light Rail is a light
rail system under New Jersey Transit Bus
Operations serving Newark, New
The service consists of two segments, the
original Newark City Subway
, and the Broad
. The combined service was officially
inaugurated on July 17, 2006.
Newark City Subway
The longer and older of the two segments is known as the
Newark City Subway
. The line is a "subway-surface"
line which runs underground
downtown and above-ground in outlying areas. Before becoming a part
of the Newark Light Rail service, it was also known as the
#7-City Subway line,
an NJT Bus Operations route
number that still applies internally (during system closures, buses
would also bear the number "7 City Subway").
segment is long and runs between Newark Penn
Station and Grove Street in Bloomfield.
opened in 1935 along the old Morris
Canal right-of-way, from Broad Street (now known as Military
Park), at the old Newark Public
Service Terminal, north to Heller Parkway. WPA
artists decorated the
underground stations with art-deco scenes from life on the defunct
Morris Canal. The southernmost part, south of Warren Street, was
capped with a new road, known as Raymond Boulevard
. Only one grade crossing
was present on the original
subway; the line crosses Orange Street at grade so it can pass over
the below-grade Delaware, Lackawanna
and Western Railroad
(now NJT Morristown Line
) immediately to the
the subway was extended to a lower level of the new Newark Penn
Station. Additionally, the Cedar Street Subway, which had been used
to access the Newark Public Service Terminal from Washington Street, was pushed through to a
junction with the subway between Broad Street and Penn
An extension to North 6th Street, subsequently
re-named Franklin Avenue (now Branch Brook Park Station), opened in
The subway was originally operated by the Public Service Corporation
#7 line. Other streetcar routes used parts of the subway, with
ramps to the surface:
5, 1952, the Roseville
Car House, on the south side of Main Street (on the #21 line) near
the east border of East Orange, was used for the #7 line.
- Via Cedar Street Subway: #13
Broad, #17 Paterson, #27 Mount Prospect, #43 Jersey City
- Warren Street Ramp: #21 Orange—West Orange via Market
- Norfolk Street Ramp: #23 Central
- Orange Street Grade Crossing: #21 Orange—West Orange via Orange
- Bloomfield Avenue Ramp: #29 Bloomfield
Newark Penn Station had been used for storage and maintenance,
until a new shops and yard complex opened with the extension to
Grove Street, beyond the end of passenger service at Grove
New Jersey Transit
operations in 1980. For many years, 30 PCC
bought from Twin
City Rapid Transit
in the 1950s were running on the route. The
cars had been built 1946–1949 by the St. Louis Car Company
and were sold by
TCRT when that system went through a conversion to buses
. Four were scrapped over the years, and two were
sold off to Shaker Heights
in 1978. In 2001, new light
rail cars built by Kinki Sharyo in
Japan in 1999 replaced the PCCs.
Some of the PCCs are currently stored in the Newark City Subway
shop; current speculation is that they will likely end up in
museums. Eleven have been sold to the San Francisco Municipal
for use on its F Market heritage
. One of the Shaker Heights cars has been
restored by the Minnesota Transportation
Museum, which operates it on a short stretch of track in
western Minneapolis. Some people in Minneapolis have hoped that
some of the remaining cars may also return to that city to run on a
proposed streetcar line on the Midtown Greenway, but such a project is not likely to begin anytime
soon as of 2006.
eight PCCs were given to the City of Bayonne to be rehabilitated and operated along a proposed
loop to serve the Peninsula
at Bayonne Harbor, formerly Military Ocean Terminal at
Bayonne (MOTBY). The proposed line will be connected to the
Street station of the Hudson-Bergen Light
Street Station was renamed Military Park Station on September 4,
2004, to avoid confusion with the new segment to Newark Broad
22, 2002, the Newark City Subway was extended to the suburbs of
Belleville and Bloomfield along what had been the Erie Railroad's Orange Branch, now under Norfolk Southern ownership.
stations were opened at Silver Lake and Grove Street, and the
Heller Parkway and Franklin Avenue stations were combined into a
new Branch Brook Park station. The loop at Franklin Avenue was
removed, since the new vehicles are bidirectional, unlike the old
PCCs—a new loop, however, is in place at the Grove Street facility.
All the street crossings on the extension are at-grade
The original agreement gave sole operating privileges to Norfolk
Southern between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily, but a new agreement
allows passenger service to operate at all hours, with late-night
service commencing on January 8, 2005. In exchange, Norfolk
Southern can now operate during all off-peak hours, when passenger
trains are infrequent.
Since January 2005, Norfolk Southern (NS) and NJ Transit’s Newark
City Subway (NJT-NCS) have been sharing a section of track at the
NJT-NCS outer terminus. The shared track portion is the Bloomfield
Extension completed in 2002. Although NS retains ownership of
track, NJT is responsible for all maintenance on the shared
section. In 2002, time separation was put in place, with agreed
“freight” period beginning at 11pm. Since then, the desire to
return transit cars to the shop and growing ridership pressures on
the shared-track segment have required NJT to extend subway service
into the original freight period.
Special procedures are required for the passage of a freight train
over the shared-track segment. Normal operation over the
shared-track is set for exclusive NJT passenger operations. In
passenger mode, the shared territory is protected from freight
train encroachment by wayside signals and electric split-point
derails at both freight entry-points. When the shared segment is
aligned for freight, automatic train stops protect freight trains
against NJT-NCS vehicle encroachment. Operations on the
shared-track are continuously monitored by the NJT OCC through a
track circuit block occupancy vehicle location system. The signal
system is fully interlocked with switches at all turnouts to
control all movements on and off of the shared-track.
Freight trains stop in advance of a low signal adjacent to the
derail. The crews then contact the NJT OCC by radio or telephone to
request permission to enter the shared-track interlocking. Upon
receiving permission, the freight train conductor initiates a route
request for the shared interlocking. Shortly thereafter, the derail
is electrically lined and locked to allow the freight train to
proceed. All three turnouts in the shared-track interlocking are
lined and locked so that the NS train can traverse the shared
segment and enter the freight-only track leading to the freight
facility. A permissive signal aspect is then displayed to the
freight train to govern the westward move onto and over the
Upon completion of the shared-track move, the conductor release the
route, to return the shared-track to passenger mode allowing normal
passenger operations to resume. Once the freight crew is ready to
return eastbound over the shared-track, the procedure for
transferring between the passenger and freight use of the
interlocking must be repeated.
The freight train crew communicates directly with the NJT
dispatcher. If route requests are issued without NJT dispatcher
permission, it is treated as a signal violation. Any operation
(whether authorized or not) automatically sets the signals and
automatic train-stops to prevent conflicting moves. The signalling
interlocks prevent the route from being lined to allow freight
movement if the interlocking is occupied by other traffic.
The NS freight train generally operates during the mid-day
passenger off-peak hours. Under this arrangement, NJT and NS trains
do not operate at pre-determined, separate and distinct portions of
the day, but the signal and track appliances installed on the
shared-track effectively eliminates the possibility that
simultaneous movements could occur. The rolling-stock remains
spatially and temporally separated. The mode changes rely on the
route-request feature of the signal installation.
Broad Street Line
The Broad Street Line, initially known as MOS-1 of the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link
later called the Broad Street Extension, is the second segment of
the Newark Light Rail. The line is one mile (1.6 km) long and
connects Newark Penn Station to Broad Street
A section of the extension, from Newark
Penn Station to Center Street, runs underground, using a junction
that originally led to the still-abandoned Cedar Street Subway
remaining section runs above-ground. One stop serves the
Jersey Performing Arts Center, while another serves the Bears and
Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The extension opened on July 17, 2006, with
the first revenue service train departing Newark Penn Station at 1
Construction began in 2002 with an estimated cost of $207.7
million, or about $40,000 per foot of track; it was completed
within budget. It is expected to have 4,000 average weekday
boardings after one year, growing to about 7,000 in 2010.
The art work at the new stations has a common theme, titled "Riding
with Sarah and Wayne." It is intended as a tribute to Newark's
native daughter Sarah Vaughan
includes the lyrics to her signature song, "Send in the Clowns
," and colored bricks
representing the music notes.
link connecting downtown Newark with Newark
Liberty International Airport was announced as in the planning stages as part of
the Newark Rail Link (formerly the Newark-Elizabeth Rail
However, NJ Transit has since removed this from
its list of candidate projects.
The Newark Light Rail is equivalent to a one-zone bus ride, with
the one-fare zone at $1.35 as of 2009, and is valid for one hour on
the entire system from the time the ticket is validated.
Through-ticketing is available for connecting bus routes.
Passengers must purchase tickets before boarding and validate them
before boarding the train (valid transfers from connecting New Jersey Transit
USA ONE Bus
bus routes or monthly passes also constitute proof
of payment). Transit police will enter trains at certain times to
make sure all passengers have validated tickets. The fine for not
having a ticket is $74. On the PCC
, cash fares were paid on board (except for a brief
period prior to the introduction of LRVs
, when proof-of-payment
fare collection was
Newark City Subway
|Newark Penn Station
Transit buses: 1, 5, 11, 21, 25,
28, 29, 34, 40, 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 79,
ONE Bus: 31, 44
NJ Transit rail: Northeast
Corridor Line, North Jersey
Coast Line, Raritan Valley
Other: PATH trains to New York City, Amtrak to Philadelphia and points south, and New York City and points north.
||NJ Transit buses: 13, 27, 39, 40, 41,
42, 43, 59, 62, 65/66, 67, 70, 72, 73, 76, 78 and 108
ONE Bus: 24, 44
|formerly Broad Street; served the Newark Public
||NJ Transit buses: 11, 28, 29, 70, 72,
76, and 78; ONE Bus: 44 (inbound only)
||NJ Transit buses: 71, 73, and 79
- NOTE: These buses do not carry local passengers within Newark
or East Orange.
||NJ Transit buses: 99
ONE Bus: 24, 44
- The 24 and 44 stop on Central Avenue.
||NJ Transit buses: 71, 73, 75
- NOTE: The 71 and 73 do not carry local passengers within Newark
or East Orange.
||NJ Transit buses: 41
||NJ Transit buses: 11, 28, 29,
|Branch Brook Park
||NJ Transit buses: 27, 74, 90, 92,
|Silver Lake (Belleville)
||NJ Transit buses: 27, 90
|Grove Street (Bloomfield)
||NJ Transit buses: 11, 28, 29, 72,
- Buses stop on Bloomfield Avenue.
and Franklin Avenue
North 6th Street
) were closed after the Bloomfield
extension and service is providedby the Branch Brook Park
Broad Street Line
Newark Light Rail system uses a new-model vehicle built by Kinki Sharyo of Japan.
vehicle, the same one used by the HBLR
system, is a
double-articulated vehicle with three segments. Each of the two end
segments has an operator's cab at the far end, thus eliminating the
need for the vehicle to turn itself around physically in order to
reverse direction. Each end segment also has seating for 16
passengers on an upper level, and seating for 13 passengers on the
lower level, including one special fold-down seat next to an empty
space that a wheelchair-bound passenger may use. With these two
segments, and a middle segment that seats ten passengers (five on
each side), the vehicle can comfortably accommodate 68 seated
passengers and two wheelchairs. An additional 122 passengers could
stand in the vehicle, if necessary.
The capacity of any particular "run" along the system can double by
coupling two of these vehicles together and running them as a
- December 22, 1910: The Public Service Corporation first
announces plans to build the subway, initially including a line
under Broad Street from Bridge Street to Clinton Avenue.
- May 26, 1935: The subway opens from Broad Street to Heller
Parkway. The #21 line is routed onto the subway via the Warren
Street Ramp and level junction at the Orange Street grade crossing.
The #23 line is routed via the Norfolk Street Ramp. The #29 line
starts using the Bloomfield Avenue Ramp.
- June 20, 1937: The extension to Newark Penn Station opens.
the same day that the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (present-day
PATH) withdraws service from its Park Place terminal and
first operates into its new alignment at Newark Penn
Station. The #13, #27 and #43 lines are rerouted to
Penn Station via the Cedar Street
Subway; the #27 and #43 had used the lower level of the
Public Service Terminal.
- June 21, 1937: The #17 line is rerouted via the Cedar Street Subway.
- July 18, 1937: The #13 and #17 lines stop using the Cedar Street Subway.
- December 29, 1937: The #27 line stops using the Cedar Street Subway.
- May 1, 1938: The #43 line stops using the Cedar Street Subway, ending all service
on that connection.
- November 22, 1940: The extension to North 6th Street (later
Franklin Avenue) opens.
- December 14, 1947: The #23 line stops using the Norfolk Street
- March 1, 1951: The #21 line stops using the Warren Street
- March 29, 1952: The #21 line stops using the level junction at
the Orange Street grade crossing.
- March 30, 1952: The #29 line stops using the Bloomfield Avenue
- January 8, 1954: The first PCC car uses the subway.
- October 1980: NJ Transit takes over operations.
- August 21, 1999: The subway is closed for two weeks for an
- September 7, 1999: The subway reopens.
- August 24, 2001: The PCC cars are officially retired from
- August 27, 2001: The new light rail vehicles begin
- June 21, 2002: Heller Parkway closes.
- June 22, 2002: Silver Lake and Grove Street open.
- September 4, 2004: Broad Street is renamed Military Park.
- January 8, 2005: Additional late-night service is provided to
17, 2006: The Newark City Subway extension opens, with service
between Newark Penn
Station and Newark Broad Street. Service is officially rebranded as the
Newark Light Rail.
- *Edward Hamm, Jr., The Public Service Trolley Lines in New
- *DOT Docket FRA-2000-7335-7 and -8.
- Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor development plan, page 17,
accessed July 25, 2006
- Newark LRT Expands July 17
- NJ Transit press release announcing the opening of the
Broad Street Extension
- New Jersey Transit Travel Alert announcing the
opening of Newark Light Rail Extended service
- New Jersey Transit