Phillipsburg Union Station

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PhillipsburgUnionStation(CNJ&DL&W) 02.tiff
South Main Street entrance of the Phillipsburg station
Location175 South Main Street, Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865
Coordinates40°41′18″N 75°11′56″W / 40.688231°N 75.198826°W / 40.688231; -75.198826
ClosedDecember 30, 1983 (1983-12-30)
Former services
Preceding station NJT logo.svg NJ Transit Following station
Terminus Raritan Valley Line Hampton
Preceding station Central Railroad of New Jersey Following station
Terminus Main Line High Bridge
toward Scranton
Lehigh and Susquehanna Division Terminus
Preceding station Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Following station
Terminus Phillipsburg Branch Stewartsville
toward Washington

Phillipsburg Union Station is an inactive railroad station in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, United States, at 178 South Main Street. Opened in 1914, Union Station was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W) and shared with the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) and was situated where the lines merged before the bridge crossing the Delaware River. Designed by Frank J. Nies, the architect who produced many of DL&W stations now listed state and federal registers of historic places, the 2 1/2 story, 3 bay brick building is unusual example of a union station and a representation of early 20th century Prairie style architecture.[1][2] The Phillipsburg Union Signal Tower, or PU Tower, is nearby.



Situated at the confluence of the Delaware River and the Lehigh River, Phillipsburg has historically been a major transportation hub. From the 1820s to 1920s, it was the western terminus of the Morris Canal, which connected it by water eastward to the Port of New York and New Jersey and westward via the Lehigh Canal across the Delaware River.

Five major railroads converged in Phillipsburg: the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ), which first ran in 1852,[3] the DL&W's Morris and Essex Railroad, the Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad (L&HR), Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR), and the Pennsylvania Railroad's (PRR) Belvidere Delaware Railroad.[4][5][6][7][8]

The South Easton and Phillipsburg Railroad of New Jersey, and the South Easton and Phillipsburg Railroad of Pennsylvania was organized on July 25, 1889 to build a bridge over the Delaware River between Easton, Pennsylvania and Phillipsburg; the former built 460' on the New Jersey side, while the latter built 850' on the Pennsylvania side. Bridge construction began on November 19, 1889, and concluded the following year on October 2.[9] Subsequently, the L&HR obtained trackage rights over 13 miles of the Pennsylvania Railroad's (PRR) Belvidere Delaware Railroad between Phillipsburg and Belvidere; once the bridge was completed, the L&HR had a continuous line from Maybrook, New York to Easton. At Easton, an interchange could be made with the Central Railroad of New Jersey and Lehigh Valley Railroad, while interchange with the PRR was at Phillipsburg. In 1908, L&HR lost the trackage rights from Phillipsburg to Belvidere as PRR took them back.

After the 1911 opening of the Lackawanna Cut-Off, the DL&W ran services on the Phillipsburg Branch of what became known as the Lackawanna Old Road. In April 1970, its successor Erie Lackawanna Railway (EL) abandoned the line. CNJ passenger service ran until 1960s, its final named train being the Harrisburg-Jersey City Queen of the Valley. Passenger service ended in 1970, only to resume in 1976 under Conrail as part of the Raritan Valley Line. NJ Transit, successor to Conrail as operator, discontinued service between Phillipsburg and High Bridge on December 30, 1983;[10] the physical connection of the Raritan Valley Line to Phillipsburg was severed in 1989. The CNJ line and bridge, owned by NJ Transit, became part of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh Line.[11][better source needed]

Status, rail trail and service restoration studies[edit]

East with CNJ and DL&W tracks

Union Station received of certificate of eligibility for listing on state and national registers of historic places from the State Historic Preservation Office in November 2003 (ID#4228);[12] the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center operated a mini museum and information center, performed some renovations,[1][2][13] and built a collection.[14][15][16]

The Phillipsburg Union Signal Tower, which controlled movement to the station and was taken out of service by New Jersey Transit in 1983, has also undergone some restoration.[17]

An extension of New Jersey Transit Rail Operations Raritan Valley Line from High Bridge station through Hampton, Bloomsbury/Bethlehem, NJ or Phillipsburg, in connection with the Norfolk Southern Lehigh Line into Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, has been considered.[18][19][20] In 2010, Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. promoted the restoration of rail service to Easton or Phillipsburg and possibly Allentown or Bethlehem.[21]

Studies have also been conducted to connect the station to rail trails.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Phillipsburg Commercial Historic District: Phillipsburg Union Train Station". New Jersey Historic Trust. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Historic Phillipsburg". LWDMR. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  3. ^ Cummins, George Wykoff. "Did you know?". Phillipsburg Area Historical Society. Retrieved 2 January 2016. The first important growth began with the building of the New Jersey Central railroad, which was completed on July 1st, 1852. On July 2nd the first passenger train of eight cars arrived amid great rejoicing.
  4. ^ Buscemi, Sr., Leonard (2001). Phillipsburg. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738509303.[page needed]
  5. ^ Phillipsburg / Easton Transportation Hub Early 20th Century, Morris Canal Greenway. Accessed 2 January 2016.
  6. ^ Brill, Peter (Winter 2010). "Jersey Central: Coal, commuters, and a Comet" (PDF). Classic Trains Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Phillipsburg LE 76.3". Lehigh Line East Railfan Club. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. ^ "PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY DISCONTINUANCE/LAST RUNS OF PASSENGER SERVICE Railroad – Ferry – Steamboat – Trolley – Rapid Transit by Line Segment" (PDF). June 30, 2003. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  9. ^ Lehigh Valley Chapter, National Railway Historical Society; Railroads In the Lehigh River Valley; 1956;1962; 1979; Pps. 37–40.
  10. ^ Kraft, Randy (December 15, 1983). "Phillipsburg-to-New York City run by train service will end Dec. 30". The Morning Call. p. 22. Retrieved August 4, 2019 – via
  11. ^ "LIBERTY: The Jersey Central Lines Today". Freewebs. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  12. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Warren County". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  13. ^ Schneider, Mike (April 6, 2014). "Restoring Phillipsburg Union Station". NJTVOnline. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  14. ^ Dan Prochilo. "Transportation Heritage Center to take old rail station's benches". Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  15. ^ Lorett, Treese (2006). Railroads of New Jersey: Fragments of the Past in the Garden State Landscape. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811732604.[page needed]
  16. ^ "Phillipsburg Commercial Historic District: Phillipsburg Union Train Station". NJ Historic Trust. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  17. ^ Foster, David (July 9, 2012). "Phillipsburg railroad tower being restored to original state". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  18. ^ Central New Jersey/Raritan Valley Transit Study Pennsylvania Component (PDF) (Report). March 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  19. ^ "NJTPA - North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority - Central New Jersey-Raritan Valley Study". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  20. ^ "NJTPA - North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority - I-78 Corridor Transit Study". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  21. ^ Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. says rail study 'has holes,' plans own task force, Monday, June 7, 2010, By DOUGLAS B. BRILL, The Express-Times
  22. ^ "Riverfront Heritage Trail Connecting River Rails Canal" (PDF). Van Cleef Associates. June 20, 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Phillipsburg Riverfront Heritage Trail Proposed Routes Town Of Phillipsburg Warren County, New Jersey" (PDF). Van Cleef Engineering Associates. June 6, 2014.

Coordinates: 40°41′18″N 75°11′55″W / 40.6882°N 75.1987°W / 40.6882; -75.1987

External links[edit]