Hoboken Terminal

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Hoboken Terminal
Hoboken Terminal waitingroom.jpg
The renovated waiting room in 2004.
Location 1 Hudson Place
Hoboken, NJ
Owned by Street level: New Jersey Transit
Underground: PANYNJ
Line(s) New Jersey Transit commuter rail:

Metro-North Railroad

Hudson – Bergen Light Rail:


Platforms 9 island platforms and 1 side platform
Tracks 18
Connections BSicon BOOT.svg NY Waterway to Battery Park City Ferry Terminal
NJT Bus NJT Bus: 22, 23, 64, 68, 85, 87, 89, and 126
Platform levels 2
Parking available within area
Bicycle facilities 88 spaces
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code HOB
Fare zone 1
Opened February 25, 1907
Electrified 1930: 25 kV 60 Hz (NJT)
600 V (DC) third rail (PATH)
750 V DC Overhead lines (Light rail)
Passengers (2012) 16,297 (average weekday)[1] (NJT)
Preceding station   NJT logo.svg NJ Transit Rail   Following station
toward Bay Head
North Jersey Coast Line
limited service
toward High Bridge
Raritan Valley Line
one weekday train
toward Hackettstown
Montclair-Boonton Line
rush-hour only
Morristown Line
toward Gladstone
Gladstone Branch
Pascack Valley Line
toward Suffern
Main Line
Bergen County Line
toward Meadowlands
Meadowlands Rail Line
MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad
toward Port Jervis
Port Jervis Line Terminus
Hudson–Bergen Light Rail
Terminus Hoboken–Tonnelle
toward 8th Street
8th Street–Hoboken Terminus
PATH logo.svg PATH
  Regular service  
Terminus HOB–33
toward 33rd Street
Handicapped/disabled access
Handicapped/disabled access
  Nights and weekends  
JSQ–33 (via HOB)
toward 33rd Street
Handicapped/disabled access
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
toward Buffalo
Main Line Terminus
toward Montclair
Montclair Branch
toward Gladstone
Gladstone Branch
toward Denville
Boonton Branch
Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Terminal at Hoboken
Hoboken Terminal is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
Hoboken Terminal
Location On the Hudson River at the foot of Hudson Place, Hoboken, New Jersey
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Area 4 acres (2 ha)
Built 1907
Architect Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison
Architectural style American Industrial
NRHP Reference # 73001102[2]
Added to NRHP July 24, 1973

Hoboken Terminal is one of the New York metropolitan area's major transportation hubs. The commuter-oriented intermodal facility is located in Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. It is served by nine New Jersey Transit (NJT) commuter rail lines, one Metro-North Railroad line, various NJT buses and private bus lines, the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail, the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system and NY Waterway-operated ferries. More than 50,000 people use the terminal daily.[3] Hoboken is fully wheelchair accessible, with high-level platforms for light rail and PATH services and portable lifts for commuter rail services.


Hoboken Terminal under construction, 1907
Hoboken Terminal shortly after its construction

Until the opening of the North River Tunnels and the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad tubes around 1910[4] travel to Manhattan from most of the continental USA required a transfer to a ferry at the Hudson River, at the time often called the North River. Of the five passenger terminals operated by competing railroad companies that once lined the Hudson Waterfront Hoboken is the only one in active use. Those at Weehawken (NYC), Pavonia (Erie), Exchange Place (PRR) were demolished in the 1960s. The restored Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is now part of Liberty State Park.

Cuts and tunnels were constructed through Bergen Hill to the terminals on the west bank of the river and the Upper New York Bay. One of the Bergen Hill Tunnels under Jersey City Heights was opened in 1876 by the Morris and Essex Railroad. A parallel tunnel was added in 1908 by Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad (DL&W). Both are still used by New Jersey Transit.[5]

The site of the terminal has been used as a ferry landing since the colonial era, accessible via turnpike roads, and later plank roads (namely the Hackensack, the Paterson and a spur of the Newark Plank Road). John Stevens, founder of Hoboken and inventor, launched steamboat service in 1811. Ferry service ended In 1967. It resumed in 1989 on the south side of the terminal and moved back to the restored ferry slips inside the historic terminal on December 7, 2011.[6]

The Phoebe Snow was a premiere passenger train that departed daily from the station.[7] In 1956, four years before its merger with the DL&W to form the Erie Lackawanna Railway, the Erie Railroad began shifting its trains from its Jersey City terminal to Hoboken. In October 1965, on former Erie routes, there were five weekday trains ran to Midvale, three to Nyack, three to Waldwick via Newark, two to Essex Fells, two to Carlton Hill, and one to Newton. All those trains were dropped in 1966. Trains to Chicago and Buffalo were discontinued on January 5, 1970.

Numerous streetcar lines (eventually owned and operated by the Public Service Railway), including the Hoboken Inclined Cable Railway, originated/terminated at the station until bustitution was completed on August 7, 1949.[5]

Hoboken Terminal c. 1954

The terminal, like Hoboken itself, is a place of "firsts". One year before his death, Thomas Edison was at the controls for the first departure, in 1930, of a regular-service electric multiple unit train from Hoboken Terminal to Montclair. One of the first installations of central air-conditioning in a public space was at station, as was the first non-experimental use of mobile phones.[8][9]

The station has been used for film shoots, including Funny Girl, Three Days of the Condor, Once Upon a Time in America, The Station Agent, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Julie & Julia, Rod Stewart's Downtown Train video (1990) and Eric Clapton's video for his 1996 single "Change the World".


Commuter rail

Access to other New Jersey Transit rail lines is available at Newark Penn Station (which also serves Amtrak), Secaucus Junction, or Newark Broad Street.

Rapid transit rail

PATH trains provide 24-hour service on three routes from a three-track underground station located north of the surface platforms. Entrances are from the main concourse or street, below the Hudson Place bus station. Travel to Newark Penn Station always requires a transfer, as does weekday service to Journal Square Transportation Center.

Station layout

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, one-way faregates, transfer to NJ Transit services
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the left Handicapped/disabled access
Eastbound      HOB–33 toward 33rd Street (Christopher Street)
     JSQ–33 (via HOB) toward 33rd Street or Journal Square Transportation Center (Christopher Street or Newport)
     HOB–WTC toward World Trade Center (Newport)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right Handicapped/disabled access
Eastbound      HOB–33 toward 33rd Street (Christopher Street)
     JSQ–33 (via HOB) toward 33rd Street or Journal Square Transportation Center (Christopher Street or Newport)
     HOB–WTC toward World Trade Center (Newport)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right Handicapped/disabled access
Eastbound      HOB–33 toward 33rd Street (Christopher Street)
     JSQ–33 (via HOB) toward 33rd Street or Journal Square Transportation Center (Christopher Street or Newport)
     HOB–WTC toward World Trade Center (Newport)
Side platform, doors will open on the right Handicapped/disabled access

Light rail

Hoboken Terminal is the terminus for two of the three Hudson-Bergen Light Rail routes, platforms for which are located south of Track 18 and are numbered H1, H2, and H4. The southern route (including the express Bayonne Flyer) travels through Downtown Jersey City, Greenville and Bayonne to 8th Street. The northern route travels through Hoboken and North Hudson to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. Travel from the West Side Branch requires passengers to transfer at stations between Pavonia-Newport and Liberty State Park.


Weekday ferry service is operated by NY Waterway to the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal at the World Financial Center and Pier 11 at Wall Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan.


New Jersey Transit bus routes from the adjacent Hudson Place bus terminal are the[10] 22, 64, 68, 85, 87, 89 to destinations within Hudson County and 126, with continuing service to Port Authority Bus Terminal. The local Hoboken Downtown and Uptown bus includes the terminal in their loop routes.[11][12]

Named passenger trains

Until the 1960s several streamliner trains originated at Hoboken. Passenger trains extended beyond the daily commuter market to Buffalo, New York; to Chicago; and to northeastern Pennsylvania.

Name Operators Destination Year begun Year discontinued
Erie Limited Erie Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna Chicago, Illinois 1963
Lake Cities Erie Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna Chicago, Illinois 1939 1970
New Yorker/Westerner Lackawanna Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna via Nickel Plate Road Buffalo, continuing to Chicago 1963
Phoebe Snow Lackawanna Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna DL&W Terminal, Buffalo, New York 1949 1966
Merchants Express Lackawanna Railroad, Scranton 1963
Scrantonian Lackawanna Railroad Scranton
Lackawanna Limited Lackawanna Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna via Nickel Plate Road Buffalo, continuing to Chicago
Twilight Lackawanna Railroad Buffalo 1965[13]
Pocono Express Lackawanna Railroad Buffalo 1965[13]
Owl Lackawanna Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna via Nickel Plate Road Buffalo, continuing to St. Louis 1969
New York Mail Lackawanna Railroad, then Erie-Lackawanna via Nickel Plate Road Buffalo, continuing to Chicago

Design, designation, and restoration

External video
Hoboken Lackawanna Terminal, Wanda Kaluza, 1:21, November 1, 2014

Designed by architect Kenneth M. Murchison in the Beaux-Arts style, the rail and ferry terminal buildings were constructed in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The terminal building is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places[14] and the National Register of Historic Places (added in 1973 as #73001102 as the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal).[15] It has been undergoing extensive renovations which are projected for completion in 2011.[3]

The large main waiting room, with its floral and Greek Revival motifs in tiled stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany set atop bands of pale cement,[8] is generally considered one of the finest in the U.S. aesthetically. The terminal exterior extends to over four stories and has a distinguished copper-clad façade with ornate detailing. Its single-story base is constructed of rusticated Indiana limestone. A grand double stair with decorative cast-iron railings within the main waiting room provides an entrance to the upper-level ferry concourse.

New clock tower

A 225-foot (69 m) clock tower was originally built with the terminal over a century ago, but was dismantled in the early 1950s due to structural damage and deterioration from weather damage. A new clock tower, replicating the original, was constructed during the terminal's centennial year of 2007 and was fully erect that November. The replica tower has 4-foot-high (1.2 m) copper letters spelling out "LACKAWANNA", which are lit at night.

The original ferry slips inside the historic terminal were restored in 2011.[6]

The terminal is considered a milestone in American transportation development, combining rail, ferry, subway, streetcar (later, bus; even later, bus on one side and light-rail on the other), and pedestrian facilities in one of the most innovatively designed and engineered structures in the nation. Hoboken Terminal was also one of the first stations in the world to employ the Bush-type train shed, designed by and named for Lincoln Bush of the DL&W, which quickly became ubiquitous in station design.[8]

The station is unusual for a New York City area commuter railroad terminal in that it still has low-level platforms, requiring passengers to use stairs on the train to board and alight.

The station was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, with a 5 feet (1.5 m) storm surge inundating the facility. The waiting room reopened in January 2013, but extensive repairs were still in progress.[16]

Environs and access

At Warrington Plaza

Though the passenger facilities are located within Hoboken, a large part of the infrastructure that supports them are located over the Jersey City city line, which cuts across the rail yard at a northwest diagonal from the river to the intersection of Grove Street and Newark Street. It is at this corner that Observer Highway begins running parallel to the tracks and creating a de facto border for Hoboken.[17] The Long Slip (created with the landfilling of Harsimus Cove) creates the southern perimeter of the station, separating it from Newport, Jersey City. Motor vehicle access to the station is extremely limited. At the eastern end of Observer Highway buses are permitted to enter their terminal. Other vehicles are required to do a dog-leg turn onto Hudson Place. This 0.05 mile long[18] street (designated CR 736) is the only one with motor vehicle traffic adjacent to the station and acts as a pick-up/drop off point, and hosts a dedicated taxi stand. Egress from the terminal requires travelling north (for at least one block) on River Street. Hudson Place ends at Warringtron Plaza. On this square one finds the main entrance to the waiting room and the vehicle entrances to the currently unused original ferry slips. A statue of Sam Sloan, president of the DL&W, moved during renovations faces the loading docks of the nearby post office. The plaza was named in honor of George Warrington, influential in the creation of New Jersey Transit, and as its executive director enabled the purchase and preservation of the station. In 2009, pedestrian access to the terminal from the south was made possible with the opening of a new segment of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.[19] The closing of this gap along the promenade nearly completes the stretch from the Morris Canal to Weehawken Cove, with signage along the concourse at the rail head inside the terminal indicating that it is officially part of the walkway.



  1. "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Hoboken Ferry Terminal Restoration Enters Final Phase" (Press release). New Jersey Transit. September 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Open Pennsylvania Station To-night". The New York Times. November 26, 1910. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-05-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  6. 6.0 6.1 Fox New York:Hoboken Ferry Terminal Reopens, Dec 07, 2011
  7. Streamliner Schedules The Phoebe Snow http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/phoebe196412.html
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  9. La Gorce, Tammy (May 23, 2004). "Cool Is a State of Mind (and Relief)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-10. Several decades later, the Hoboken Terminal distinguished itself as the nation's first centrally air-conditioned public space.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Hudson County bus and train service, New Jersey Transit. Accessed June 13, 2007.
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  15. New Jersey - Hudson County, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed June 13, 2007.
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  18. "Hudson County 736 straight line diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2009-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Baldwin, Carly (August 26, 2009). "Long Slip pedestrian bridge from Jersey City to Hoboken to open in September". The Jersey Journal. Jersey City. Retrieved 2010-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links