Trains from the Morris & Essex Railroad first arrived on the site of Newark Broad Street Station in 1832. Today's station building was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad Company in 1903 along with the Newark Drawbridge just east of the station, and is located on a concrete elevated embankment. The depot was designed by Frank J. Niles in the 'Renaissance Style with Romanesque touches, and has an campanile (italian bell tower) that rises eighty feet. (From Plaque). It's exterior is brick and marble. Electrification arrived in September 1930. The station was extensively renovated by New Jersey Transit with the removal of the historic shelter house on the westbound platform, realignment of the tracks and the installation of high-level platforms from 2005 to 2008 with a rededication occurring in February 2009. The Newark Light Rail's one mile extension from Penn Station (Newark's other, newer train station) to Broad Street opened on July 17, 2006. The station has LED displays that display DepartureVision for next train information plus an automated announcement system.
The station is served by the NJT former Lackawanna train lines: the Morristown Line, Gladstone Branch (whose timetables are published together as the Morris & Essex Lines that includes all trains that stop at Newark Broad Street on the Montclair-Boonton Line) and the Montclair-Boonton Line. June 10, 1996 saw the opening of the Kearny connection in the Meadowlands that connected the electrified ex-Lackawanna Lines with the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad and began the introduction of MidTOWN DIRECT service. This allowed some Morristown Line trains (and Montclair-Boonton Line trains starting in 2002 with the opening of the Montclair Connection) to enter New York-Penn Station instead of Hoboken Terminal (for PATH and Ferry connections) where trains had terminated since the station's opening. This also made Newark Broad Street a transfer point. The station's three track design makes timed meets of trains not all that operationally feasible (LIRR Jamaica-style connecting operations don't occur) so normally passengers are simply told to get off and wait on the platform for a certain number of minutes before the next train. Summit is also used as a connecting station between Gladstone Branch trains to Hoboken and MidTOWN DIRECT Morristown Line trains.
An example of these connections in action is on the middle of a weekday: the station has 3 trains per hour or better and example of how the connections work is a midTOWN Direct Montclair train arrives (these passengers are out of luck without a 45 minute layover), 5 minutes later a Gladstone Branch train arrives from Hoboken, 9 minutes after a midTOWN Direct train to Dover arrives. This allows passengers going to any stop on the Morris & Essex Lines to originate their travel in New York or Hoboken. On weekends the bihourly Montclair Branch trains only to Bay Street (there is no weekend service farther north) from Hoboken (the only weekend trains to originate there) do have a scheduled 6 minute layover in the station. This allows full connectivity with the hourly midTOWN Direct Morristown Line trains to Dover that stop in the station during that time that connect at Summit to shuttle trains on the Gladstone Branch.
The station's original configuration was two low-level side platforms for the three track line with trains on the middle track 1 boarding via walkways over track 3 from the north platform. The recent rebuilding and realignment rerouted the north track 3 over where the northbound side platform originally was and built an island platform between tracks 3 and 1 (the middle track). The historic depot on the southside of the tracks was refurbished and track 2 has kept its side platform although this has been raised and now is high-level. The two present platforms are slightly staggered from each other with the side platform for track 2 running farther west than the island platform that extends farther east. The platforms are both canopied from their easternmost points to the same place towards the middle of the side platform and three-quarters of the way down the island platform. These canopies have silver and brown supports and are designed to replicate the original 1903 canopies that extended from the original station building and shelter. All station's modern looking lampposts and fencing is also painted brown to tie in with the historic nature of the station. On the island platform are three small waiting rooms that were built with the new platform but also designed to look historic with brick exterior walls. Inside are a few silver modern benches but the lower half of the walls are wood paneled, upper half painted green, just like most of the walls in the depot. These waiting rooms are covered in information panels about historic Newark.
The historic depot is on the south side of the station slightly west of University Avenue (Broad Street crosses beneath the tracks just east of here) and is the primary way to access platforms as well as wait for trains. The Newark City Subway station is directly alongside the building, and a number of canopied (in the same style as the platforms) walkways provide nearly continuos coverage in the plaza below the station. These historic canopies extend to the nearby bus stops on University Avenue.
Passengers enter the building at street level through one of two doors that immediately lead to staircases, one along the eastern end of the building and the other towards the eastern end of the building. There is also an elevator on with access on the exterior of the building to allow 24-hour access when the depot is closed between 11:00pm and 5:00am (this applies also to all the shelters on the island platform). These lead up about ten steps to a lower landing. This area has a grander staircase up 19 steps to main waiting room along track 2. The walls of this lower area white brick that give way to green painted walls with wooden molding around the windows on the upper main waiting room. Nestled beneath the upper floor that forms a bit of a balcony is the ticket office (open only weekdays 6:30am to 9:30am) with four widows beneath marble supports and gold lettering that says 'Information Bureau' restored from historic photographs. Across from the ticket office is the station's one concession the 'Union News Company', now a coffee bar. Doors lead out beyond the ticket office (beneath gold lettering for To Tracks 1 & 3) to a pedestrian underpass tunnel. This tunnel first has an exterior (for 24 hour access) walkway that leads past the intermediate landing of the elevator to a staircase down to street level (at University Avenue) in the side of the embankment. The underpass continues to a staircase and elevator to the island platform. This elevator doesn't connect directly to the street (you have to transfer elevators on the underpass) and leads up to its own upper landing on the platform. The stairs arrive in a small enclosure with doors before leading out to the platform.
The upper level of depot is the main waiting room. This large room, with a white with gold trip ceiling has only a few wooden benches along its walls. On the west side are restrooms and a Customer Service office. Two sets of doors lead out to the side platform and track two both arriving at track-level (the low-level platform legacy) to seven steps up to the new high-level platform (that gets narrower by the depot). The east exit leads up directly next to the upper elevator landing (located at the same level as the depot to allow for step free access inside) and has both a staircase and ramp up to the platform.
The two offset platforms have additional exits at each end. At the eastern end of the side platform a staircase leads directly down to the west side of University Avenue directly in front of the main depot. This exit from the island platform leads down to an intermediate landing before the stairs turn south, cross beneath tracks 1 and 2 (the two south tracks) and leads to a triangle between University Avenue and Broad Street. The western exits see a staircase from track 2 to the west side of Martin Luther King Blvd and from the island platform, tracks 1 and 3 to the east side of this street (going directly down between the platforms). The placement of streetstairs at the ends of the platforms (and a poorly placed DepartureVision monitor) make the station a not very good one for photography purposes. All of the low-level stations beyond are much better for watching trains.
Photos 1-31 taken on 9 September, 2011, 32-34 on 24 January, 2012, 35-75 on 19 February, 2013, 76-97 on 2 February, 2013, 98-106 on 16 July, 2013, 107-116: 4 November, 2013, 117-120: 30 May, 2014