Newark City Subway

From Academic Kids

PCC car at Newark Penn Station in 2001
PCC car at Newark Penn Station in 2001

The Newark City Subway (NCS) in Newark, New Jersey is operated by New Jersey Transit. Despite its name, the subway is actually an underground trolley car line which runs above ground away from downtown (this is known as "subway-surface"). The Newark City Subway was also known as the #7-City Subway line. This designation was signed on the old PCC cars, but not the new modern cars.



The line is 4.3 miles long, running between Newark Penn Station and Grove Street in Bloomfield.

The fare is $1.10 which was increased to $1.25 on July 1, 2005, and a discount 50 downtown fare is applicable from Penn Station to the Warren Street Station during off peak hours. Passengers must buy tickets before boarding (cash fares were paid on board on the PCC cars).


The line opened in 1935 along the old Morris Canal right-of-way, from Broad Street, 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 Avenue at grade so it can pass over the depressed Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (now NJT Morristown Line) just to the north.

In 1937, 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 Station. An extension to North 6th Street, now Franklin Avenue, opened in 1940.

The subway was originally operated by the Public Service Corporation as their #7 line. Other streetcar routes used parts of the subway, with ramps to the surface:

  • Cedar Street Subway (to be partially used by the Broad Street extension under construction): #13-Broad Street, #17-Paterson, #27-Mt. Prospect, #43-Jersey City
  • Warren Street Ramp: #21-Orange via Market Street
  • Norfolk Street Ramp: #23-Central Avenue
  • Orange Street Ramp: #21-Orange via Orange Street
  • Bloomfield Avenue Ramp: #29-Bloomfield

Until June 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. Since then, Newark Penn Station has been used for storage and maintenance. A new shops and yard complex opened with the extension to Grove Street, beyond the end of passenger service at Grove Street.

New Jersey Transit took over operations in 1980. For many years, 30 PCC streetcars bought from Twin City Rapid Transit in the 1950s were running on the route. The cars had been built 19461949 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 Rapid Transit 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, from which they may go to museums. Fifteen have been sold to the San Francisco Municipal Railway's Market Street Railway, which runs a system of historic streetcars. 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 2004.

Broad Street Station was renamed Military Park Station on September 4, 2004, to avoid confusion when the new line to Newark Broad Street Station on the Morris and Essex Lines opens.

On June 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, and is now owned by Norfolk Southern. New 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 can travel in either direction, unlike the old PCCs. All the street crossings on the extension are at-grade.

The original agreement gave sole operating privileges to Norfolk Southern between 11 PM and 1 AM daily, but a new agreement allows passenger trains at all hours, with late-night service beginning on January 8, 2005. In exchange, Norfolk Southern can now operate during all off-peak hours, when passenger trains are infrequent.


An additional rail link connecting Penn Station to Broad Street Station on the Morris and Essex Lines is under construction, using part of the old Cedar Street Subway. The first bit will be underground, with the rest running along surface streets.

Another link connecting downtown with Newark Liberty International Airport and Elizabeth is planned.


Current line

Broad Street Line

This line is not open yet; station names may change.


  • December 22, 1910: The Public Service Corporation first announces plans to build the subway, as well as one in 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 and Orange Street Ramps. 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. This is the same day that the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (now PATH) is realigned to 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 Newark 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 Ramp.
  • March 29, 1952: The #21 line stops using the Warren Street and Orange Street Ramps.
  • March 30, 1952: The #29 line stops using the Bloomfield Avenue ramps.
  • January 8, 1954: The first PCC car uses the subway.[1] (
  • October 1980: NJ Transit takes over operations.[2] (
  • August 21, 1999: The subway is closed for two weeks for an overhaul.
  • September 7, 1999: The subway reopens.
  • ?: Branch Brook Park opens and Franklin Avenue closes.
  • August 27, 2001: The new light rail vehicles begin running.[3] (
  • June 21, 2002: Heller Parkway closes.[4] (
  • June 22, 2002: Silver Lake and Grove Street open.[5] (
  • September 4, 2004: Broad Street is renamed Military Park.[6] (
  • January 8, 2005: Additional late-night service is provided to Grove Street.[7] (


External links

Template:New Jersey Transit


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