Harrison is a PATH station that is technically a local stop on the Northeast Corridor served by PATH. PATH's third rail electrified tracks are on the outside of the three inside and electrified by catenary Northeast Corridor tracks (there is room for a forth track) used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit Trains. This means the station is an excellent rail fan location with frequent trains passing on five different tracks, just east of the two-level Dock Bridge that trains use to enter Newark-Penn Station. The short one-minute ride from Harrison to Newark-Penn Station was even free until 2005 when turnstiles were finally installed on the Newark-bound platform. The station lacks a free crossover between PATH directions and Newark-Penn Station does as well (trains discharge at an exit platform, no free ride back to Penn Station and Jersey City) so there was no fare beating by heading out to Newark and getting a free ride eastbound.
The station first opened in 1911 and was rebuilt when the ROW moved to its current location in 1937 as part of the project that moved PATH from its original Park Place terminus in Newark into Newark Penn Station. The station is currently planning to be rebuilt for all the new development in the Harrison area, particularly with the opening of the Red Bull Arena (an outdoor soccer stadium for the MLS New York Red Bulls) including ADA compliancy to be finished in 2017.
The station's current configuration is extremely simple with two side platforms. These platforms have simple low tubular fencing along there extremities and a wooden canopy held up by metal posts towards its midsection. Here each platform has its only exit to the west side of Frank E Rodgers Blvd (County Road 697). On the Newark-bound platform this exit is extremely simple. An opening leads to a garage roll-up door to a small, modern fare control area with turnstiles. This area was built as part of the project to install turnstiles for Newark-bound riders. These six turnstiles lead past a TVM and a machine for two trip PATH MetroCards to a covered staircase down to the street. Above the bottom of this staircase is a sign saying Harrison Station, PATH trains West & Newark (Newark is the only stop).
March 2013 visit: A New Parking Garage has opened beneath the Newark-bound platform. This has rebuilt the entrance. The one staircase leads down to an intermediate landing where it splits into 2 staircases in a modern, glass walled enclosure. One side leads down to the same place as the previous staircase still with the PATH trains West & Newark sign. The other leads down to a small plaza with tons of bike racks. The sign above this entrance is correct and simple says PATH Trains to Newark Only. Little signs along the bike racks have messages "PATH Respects The Environment." This also leads to an illuminated 'Garage' sign and entrance into the garage.
The entrance to the New York-bound platform is much more interesting inside a 1930s brick building. This building has a circular awning that covers two blue doors. Above this awning is a window to allow natural light in, followed by a concrete etching of the Pennsylvania Railroad logo. The reason for this logo is that the H & M Railroad (PATH's name until it was bought by the Port Authority of NY & NJ in 1962) was jointly operated with the Pennsylvania Railroad between Journal Square (called Summit Avenue) and Newark. Above this is lettering that spells out Harrison and a clock above. All clearly 1930s design. Passing through the doors passengers reach two more doors at a split. These two areas lead to separate banks of turnstiles inside the station that then lead to an enclosed staircase (with a nice Jersey City and Newark mosaic) up to platform level. On the platform level the staircase arrives at a small enclosed waiting area with benches before doors lead out to the back of the platform for trains.
Last Updated: 12 February, 2013