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Meadowlands Rail Line

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Meadowlands Rail Line

  Meadowlands Rail Line
Station (foreground) at MetLife Stadium
Type Event shuttle
System New Jersey Transit
Locale North Jersey
Termini Hoboken Terminal
Stations 3
Daily ridership n/a
Opening 2009
Owner New Jersey Transit
Operator(s) New Jersey Transit
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Route map

Meadowlands Rail Line is a rail line in New Jersey, United States, operated by New Jersey Transit (NJT). Trains run between the Meadowlands Sports Complex and Secaucus Junction, some with continuing service to Hoboken Terminal. There is a limited service on the line, with trains only operating in conjunction with major events.[1]

Upon its opening on July 20, 2009, it became the newest route of New Jersey Transit rail operations. It is represented on NJT maps with the color white; unlike other lines, it does not have a logo.[2] It was built at a cost of $185 million.[3]

The Meadowlands Station was built as a part of the rail network expansion and is next to MetLife Stadium, equidistant from the Meadowlands Racetrack, the Izod Center and unopened American Dream Meadowlands.[4]


NJ Transit runs trains along the Meadowlands Rail Line for events where 50,000 or more attendees are expected, including New York Jets and New York Giants games. Trains begin running 312 hours before an event and stop up to two hours after its conclusion. Travel time between Meadowlands Station and Secaucus Junction is 10 to 13 minutes; a trip to or from Hoboken Terminal takes about 23 minutes.[5] The agency considers full capacity to be 10,000 passengers per hour.[6] NJT officials have said they will begin daily service when the American Dream Meadowlands retail and entertainment complex opens.[7] In anticipation of increased ridership for Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014 NJT extended platforms at Secaucus Junction by 120 ft (37 m) to accommodate multi-level 10-car train sets which can handle about 1,400 to 1,800 passengers per trip, moving about 14,000 or 15,000 people an hour.[8]

Secaucus Junction is a major interchange station for NJ Transit where all but three of its commuter lines stop. Connections are available to the Northeast Corridor Line and the North Jersey Coast Line to New York Penn Station and Newark Penn Station and points south; the Morris and Essex Lines Midtown Direct to New York Penn Station and points west; the Main Line, the Bergen County Line, and the Pascack Valley Line to points north. At its eastern terminus Hoboken Terminal connections to PATH trains, Hudson Bergen Light Rail, New York Waterway ferries and local buses are available.[9][10]

The Train to the Game is an excursion train operated jointly by Metro-North Railroad and NJ Transit, for Sunday football games starting at 1 pm. Trains running as part of this service originate at New Haven. They travel through southwestern Connecticut and Westchester County, cross Manhattan via New York Penn (thus avoiding the normally required transfer from Grand Central Terminal,) and continue through the North River Tunnels as regular NJT trains to Secaucus Junction.[11] When the service first began, three trains operated in each direction.[12] However, this was reduced to one train in each direction starting with the 2010 Football Season.[13]

In 2012, New Jersey Transit began introducing online ticketing service by offering round-trip tickets from New York Penn Station to Met Life Stadium during the 2012 NFL season.[14]


The Meadowlands Sports Complex, which opened in 1976, was until 2009 accessible only via automobile or bus. The decision to build a rail line to it was welcome but the route was a source of controversy. A portion of the line is a 2.3-mile-long (3.7 km) spur line connected via a new wye connection to the existing network. The line as built is a spur off the Pascack Valley Line, which travels further than if it had branched directly off the Bergen County Line. The decision to spend $6.2 million to acquire a right-of-way that travels through a federal Superfund site was also contentious.[15]

The opening ceremonies for the line took place on July 20, 2009. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, New York Giants owner John Mara, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, and players from the Giants and Jets rode a special train from Hoboken to the new station for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.[3] The station opened to the public on July 26, 2009, for the championship game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament between the United States and Mexico. It is estimated that 6,000 arrived via the new rail line.[16]

Ridership to National Football League games increased by 50 percent in the rail line's second year of operation. In 2010, about 10,500 attendees at New York Jets games and 8,000 attendees at New York Giants games arrived by train.[17]

In an operation dubbed the Mass Transit Super Bowl for Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014, record numbers of riders took the shuttle to Meadowlands before the game, and were faced with waits of up to 90 minutes, due to security delays.[18] After the game ended there more delay as demanded exceeded the Meadowlands station's regular operating capacity. At one point, fans were asked to remain inside the stadium until more trains were dispatched to load passengers from the station.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29] In total 28,301 riders arrived at the stadium and 35,264 (nearly three times as many riders as NJ Transit predicted) left via train.[30]


Station[31] Miles (km)
from HOB
Connections / notes[31]
1 Hoboken Terminal Handicapped/disabled access
(limited service)
0.0 (0.0) 1903 NJ Transit: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, North Jersey Coast, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley Lines
Metro-North: Port Jervis Line
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail: Hoboken-8th Street, Hoboken-Tonnelle
PATH: HOB-WTC, HOB-33, JSQ-33 (via HOB)
Bus transport NJT Bus: 22, 22X, 23, 54, 68, 85, 87, 89, 126
New York Waterway to Battery Park City
Secaucus Junction Handicapped/disabled access 3.5 (5.6) 2003 NJ Transit: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, North Jersey Coast, Northeast Corridor, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley Lines
Metro-North: Port Jervis Line
Bus transport NJT Bus: 2, 78, 129, 329, 353
Meadowlands Sports Complex Handicapped/disabled access 9.9 (15.9) 2009 Bus transport NJT Bus: 351, 353, 703, 772
Meadowlands Sports Complex (Izod Center, Meadowlands Racetrack, MetLife Stadium)


The rail line provides service to Secaucus Junction and Hoboken Terminal
  1. ^ Brennan, John (November 9, 2010). "Train ridership for football up 50%, but Meadowlands rail use still sparse". The Record (Bergen County). Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Passenger Rail System Map". New Jersey Transit. July 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b Brennan, John (July 20, 2009). "Meadowlands rail service rolls out". The Record. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Meadowlands Rail Station".  
  5. ^ "Take the New Meadowlands Rail Line to the Gold Cup" (Press release). New Jersey Transit. July 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  6. ^ "Meadowlands rails prove all the rage". The Star-Ledger. September 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  7. ^ "N.J. officials launch rail service to Meadowlands". Associated Press. July 20, url= 
  8. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (March 10, 2013). "To make it Super, Meadowlands train needs longer platform, says NJ Transit". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  9. ^ "Take the New Meadowlands Rail Line to the Gold Cup" (Press release). New Jersey Transit. July 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Map showing Meadowlands Rail Line". New Jersey Transit. July 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  11. ^ "Train to the Game".  
  12. ^ Take The Train to the Game at the Wayback Machine (archived February 2, 2010)
  13. ^ Take The Train to the Game at the Wayback Machine (archived August 21, 2010)
  14. ^ "Take The Train to the Game" (Press release). NJ Transit. August 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  15. ^ "Sports authority paid $6.2M for contaminated land for Meadowlands rail spur, report says". The Star-Ledger. February 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  16. ^ Clunn, Nick (July 26, 2009). "Thousands hop on board new Meadowlands rail service". The Record. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  17. ^ Brennan, John (November 9, 2010). "Train ridership for football up 50%, but Meadowlands rail use still sparse". The Record. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  18. ^ "Transit woes mark New Jersey-New York Super Bowl". Fox News. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  19. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (2014-02-02). "‘Mass-Transit Super Bowl’ Hits Some Rough Patches in Moving Fans".  
  20. ^ Amy S. Rosenberg. "Mass transit meltdown on the way to the Super Bowl". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  21. ^ Vilensky, Mike. "Security, Crowds Delay Fans' Trip to Super Bowl -". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  22. ^ Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger. "Angry Super Bowl train passengers curse NJ over delays, overcrowding". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  23. ^ McManus, Jane. "Reports: Epic transit delays in New Jersey - SBNY Blog - ESPN New York". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  24. ^ "Super Bowl 2014: NJ Transit riders complain of heat, overcrowding". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  25. ^ "Super Bowl: More train problems as announcer asks fans to stay in MetLife Stadium". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  26. ^ "Super Bowl 2014: Transit woes plague ride home (photos/videos)". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  27. ^ "Super Bowl's mass-transit vision at risk after commuter mayhem". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  28. ^ "Super Bowl chaos as officials plead with train-bound fans to stay inside MetLife Stadium | Mail Online". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  29. ^ "Mass Transit Strains Under Super Bowl Crowds". NBC New York. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  30. ^ Wang, Christopher (August 8, 2014). "Study faults late changes for monster Super Bowl snarl, goes easy on NJ Transit". The Record. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  31. ^ a b c "Meadowlands Sports Complex". New York, New York: New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 

External links

  • Opening ceremonies video
  • Get Tickets for NY Penn Station to the Meadowlands Sports Complex
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