Newark Penn Station, the gateway for New Jersey rail travel throughout the region, turned 80 years old and NJ TRANSIT hosted a huge community celebration in its honor.
NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim and NJ TRANSIT representatives were joined by elected officials, customers and community members for the festivities.
“This is a welcomed opportunity to celebrate all that rail service has meant to this busy travel corridor which serves as the gateway into the City of Newark and its vibrant business district,” said Hakim. “Newark Penn Station represents a rich history of transportation innovation over the last 80 years building upon its roots as an intermodal hub and evolving to embrace the advent of modern technology in order to best serve the needs of our customers.”
In addition to a speaking program, events in the Main Waiting Room featured two, 30 to 45 minute tours of the station and music provided by the Newark Arts High School Jazz Ensemble, as well as participants in the NJ TRANSIT Music in Motion program. Also, customers were treated to giveaways and sweepstakes from our partners including NJPAC, Ironbound IBID, the Newark Museum, and the Greater Newark Convention and Visitor Bureau.
Opened in 1935, Newark Penn Station is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The station was originally designed and still operates as an intermodal facility serving pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.
The first section of Newark Penn Station opened on March 23, 1935. The first regularly scheduled train to use the station — a New York to Philadelphia express train — did not pick up passengers until the following morning; the bus lanes and taxi area also opened March 24, 1935. The final phase of the station opened in 1937 when projects to extend the Newark City Subway (now Newark Light Rail) and Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (now PATH) to Newark Penn Station were completed, greatly increasing transportation options for regional commuters.