Raritan Valley Line

A guide by Alan Braunstein
(alan@nycsubway.org)
(All photos by Alan Braunstein unless noted.)

   

Roselle Park. This station was built in the late 1960's as part of the Aldene project. This project rerouted the Central Railroad of New Jersey main line from its Jersey City terminal into Newark Penn Station. Part of the project was to remove the grade crossings from the Lehigh Valley line in the Roselle Park and Union area. The station is an island platform station. On the Eastbound side there is a gauntlet track to allow freight trains to pass the high level platform safely. Access to the platform is through the embankment. There is very heavy freight traffic through this station.

(Photo njt4208.jpg: Newark-bound train at Roselle Park. Photo by Constantine Steffan, 11/1994.)

Cranford. Cranford station was built on an embankment in the mid 1930's. A ticket office is downstairs and has been rebuilt and is very well maintained. The station building has a small waiting area. It is also used for other offices. There is space for six tracks. The two inner tracks and two outer tracks have been removed over the years. Previously, there were island platforms but now all that remain are two side platforms facing the two remaining tracks. Platforms are accessed through a tunnel and are high level. There are small waiting areas on the platform. In the tunnel to the platforms there are photographs from the history of Cranford.

 

Garwood. The Garwood station is just two paved low level side platforms. There are bus shelter type waiting areas.

Westfield The station at Westfield has two high-level side platforms. The main station house is on the eastbound side. This building contains a ticket office and a small waiting area and has been restored to its 1930's condition. There is a building on the westbound side, also restored, used by nonprofit organizations. There is an access tunnel that connects the eastbound and westbound platforms. Similar to Cranford, there are historic photographs of the Westfield area in the tunnel.

Fanwood. The Fanwood station is another historic Central Railroad of New Jersey station. The westbound station building is Victorian in design and is used by a nonprofit organization, like at Westfield. The eastbound station is a plain station just used as a ticket office. This station has two low-level side platforms.

Netherwood. The Netherwood station is located in the eastern portion of the city of. Once again we find a well-maintained station house with two low-level side platforms.

Plainfield. Along with Netherwood, the Plainfield serves the city of Plainfield, this time on the western side of the city. There is an eastbound and westbound station house. The eastbound station house contains the ticket office and small waiting area. The building here has also been restored to like-new condition. The westbound station building is sealed and could use a little bit of work.

Dunellen. At Dunellen station we find another pre-New Jersey Transit station. This station is built into the embankment. On the ground level we find a ticket office and small waiting area. Upstairs there are two low-level platforms trackside. The station also serves New Jersey Transit bus operations to both Newark and New York City.

Bound Brook. The Bound Brook station buildings are constructed of brick, with the westbound building now being used as a restaurant. The eastbound station house is not used for public purposes. There are two low-level platforms with a tunnel access to the eastbound side. On the eastbound side there is also a local freight track which passengers must cross to get to the main platform. Behind the eastbound side you also can find the mainline of Conrail's Lehigh line. This is a fairly heavily-used freight line leading to the Oak Island freight yards in Newark. You will find many Norfork Southern and CSX trains moving through this area.

 

Bridgewater

 

Finderne

Somerville. At Somerville, there are two low-level platforms. The station house here has been restored and is in use by a law firm. At track level there is space for four railroad tracks that have been removed over time.

Raritan. The station here was built in the late 1800s and has been designated a national landmark. The building is made out of stone and has been restored to its original condition. There are two low-level platform's here. This is the only station on the line that is at ground level (as opposed to up on an embankment). There are two grade crossings, one at each end of the platforms, which are protected with flashing lights and gates. The trains continue to the Raritan yard, which is about three-quarters of a mile down the tracks. This yard is used for layovers during the day and storing the trains at night.

 

North Branch

 

White House

 

Lebanon

 

Annandale

 

High Bridge

   

Elizabeth The Elizabeth station, while not an active station, was part of the original Central Railroad of New Jersey line into Jersey City. The station house has been rebuilt and is going to be used as part of an urban development project. The station can be seen from the Northeast Corridor mainline which crosses over the old main line at this station. There are no longer any active tracks at this location.

   

References