Cranford is the most eastern station on the CNJ main line that most of today's Raritan Valley Line uses that is still open. Under the Aldene Plan in 1967, a connecting track was built in Aldene (not a passenger stop) west of the station to the Lehigh Valley Railroad and trains were rerouted via the new Roselle Park Station into Newark Penn Station. Until 1978, Scoot Shuttle train service from Bayonne terminated here, connecting to mainline trains from Newark and passenger service on the CNJ east of Aldene finally ended. The tracks were then abandoned to the original ferry transfer terminus at the Communipaw Passenger Terminal. The ROW at today's station is on an embankment, designed to accommodate six tracks although only two are still in service. These two tracks stop on the insides of what are still designed to be (and could accommodate an outer track) island platforms. Provisions for the two middle tracks are now simply empty ballast, along with the outer two tracks on the edge of the station's embankment. The high-level 'island' platforms have a low chain link fence that runs along the platforms for what would be outside local tracks although these are long gone. When I visited in January 2013 the northern half of the Raritan-bound platforms were closed off by fences.
These high-level platforms both have canopies in their middles, with the New York-bound platform's stretching all the way to the front. These canopies have high gabled roofs (that look shingled, like they are an extension of the station house and flat bottoms with florescent lighting built-in. Waiting amenities on the platforms are two plastic windscreen with black attached benches, basically the amenities of an oversized bus shelter. The platforms have black retro with square fixtures lampposts.
The main access to the platforms is via a pedestrian underpass in the middle. This underpass has simple concrete walls. Up to each platform is an elevator that has a shaft that sticks out the top of the canopies to a similarly gabled roof (they look like steeples). There are two staircases up to each platform although only one of them is open to the Raritan-bound side (the other is blocked off by a chain-linked fence since it leads to the closed off portion of that platform). This north end of the underpass is at North Avenue to a small plaza and a bus stop. The southern end leads directly into a brick station house. The is a small area between the station house and platforms are covered with a nice translucent roof letting natural light in. It is here that the station's TVMs are found.
The station house is a nice historic brick building restored to the 1930s. Inside the station house (open weekdays 5:05am to 12:35pm) is a single ticket window, historic looking chandeliers, and wooden benches. A plaque dedicates the building to Richard J. Anderson, a Cranford resident and director of New Jersey Transit's Commuter division. Above the doors out to the underpass an platforms is a (unique to New Jersey) still functioning Train Approach indication. When a train approaches the station, via the tracks a signal is sent to the station house to illuminate a directional sign. This tells passengers it's time to go up to the platform and leave the warmth of the station house. The platforms have similar indicators that say 'Train Approaching: Stand Back' on a red background. This station house is along the edge of the station's main 165 space parking lot. There has a gabled roof extension of the station house to covered bike racks on the edge of the parking lot.
There are additional exits from the western (Raritan-bound) ends of both platforms that are staircases down to the underpass of Union Avenue. This sides of the railroads overpass bridges are painted green with 'Welcome to Cranford: Historic Raritan Valley Line' written on them in white.
All Photos taken on 7 January, 2013